While the trucking industry has a vital role in keeping America moving, it also raises the risk of accidents.
According to the New Jersey State Police, 39 of the 498 crash fatalities in 2021 involved a semi-trailer. While negligent driving happens, often underlying factors play into these crashes.
1. Distracted driving
Even if a person’s job involves driving for a living, that does not make them immune from getting distracted. Having an office on wheels often means eating meals while on the move, fiddling with the radio or CB, or letting the surroundings take attention away from the road. It only takes a few seconds for a peaceful cruise down the highway to turn deadly.
2. Tight deadlines
A shortage of drivers and increasing supply chain demands leave many truckers on the road feeling the stress of arriving on time. When traffic delays happen, that may mean ignoring a few rules of the road to meet the strict deadline. Increased speed immediately puts others at risk. Fatigue also plays into deadlines. Although laws require truck drivers to rest, some keep going.
3. Underlying health issues
Sitting for hours without moving around quickly takes a toll on the human body. Add loading and unloading and vehicle maintenance to the list, and it comes as no surprise that many truck drivers develop back, neck and joint injuries. Life on the road also makes it more difficult to eat healthily, which may lead to serious health issues that could show up at any time.
Although even the safest driver cannot control other drivers, remembering the hidden dangers truck drivers face may serve as a reminder for extra driving vigilance.