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Trucker shortage could put additional strain on driver safety

Driving a commercial vehicle is a demanding occupation. Not only can drivers spend days or weeks away from their home and families, they also face on-the-job hazards that can threaten their safety.

Unfortunately, due to the current trucker shortage, it doesn't appear as though the risk to driver safety is declining, either. Below, we examine a few of the reasons why trucking is one of the most dangerous occupations in the country, as well as what drivers and their families can do in the event that a driver is injured or killed on the job.

Factors that put truckers in danger

  1. There are extra demands on drivers. Because there is a shortage of drivers, truckers might work longer than they should in order to meet deadlines. This means they could be driving while drowsy or under the influence of unsafe stimulants.
  2. Companies are hiring less qualified drivers. Without the driver shortage, companies could be more selective with the people they hire. However, with tens of thousands of driver positions open, companies might hire inexperienced drivers; they might hire drivers who are older or younger than they would ideally want; some can even hire drivers who suffer from serious medical conditions.
  3. The nature of the trucking industry exposes drivers to health risks. Spending long stretches of time sitting behind the wheel of a truck puts a worker at risk of heart disease, diabetes and other health complications. Further, drivers who spend so much time on the road can face increased risk of getting into an accident.

What can injured drivers and their families do?

If a truck driver gets sick, injured or killed as a consequence of their occupation, it is crucial to examine the financial resources that may be available. Not only can an accident lead to significant medical expenses, but it could also mean that a person is unable to work.

As such, drivers and their families would be wise to explore their options for remedies including workers' compensation should a driver suffer an on-the-job accident. These benefits can reduce the financial impact a work-related injury has on victims and their loved ones and make it a little easier to recover.

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