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Survey of Long-Haul Truck Drivers: Injury and Safety

Release Date: February 2, 2016

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), approximately 1,701,500 people were employed as heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers in the United States (U.S.) in 2012. The majority of these drivers were over-the-road or long-haul truck drivers (LHTDs), meaning they delivered goods over intercity routes that may span several states.

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers were twelve times more likely to die on the job and three times more likely to suffer an injury involving days away from work than the U.S. general worker population. In 2012, 695 heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers died on the job, the largest number of work-related fatalities in a single occupation. The majority (70%) of these fatalities were caused by motor vehicle crashes.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) stated that “truck driver safety is not only a national occupational safety priority, but also a general public health concern because of the high death toll of truck crashes among both drivers and occupants of other vehicles and the economic burden of truck crashes on society.” In 2012, there were 3,464 large trucks that were involved in fatal crashes, 73,000 were involved in injury crashes, and 241,000 were involved in property-damage-only crashes. In the aggregate, for each large-truck driver death, six other persons (persons in other vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists) died in truck crashes. Motor vehicle crashes involving large trucks and buses cost the U.S. economy an estimated $99 billion in 2012. The cost included productivity losses, property damage, medical costs, rehabilitation costs, travel delays, legal and court costs, emergency services (such as medical, police, and fire services), insurance administration costs, and the costs to employers.

In 2010, NIOSH conducted the National Survey of LHTD Health and Injury. The objective of the NIOSH survey was to assess the prevalence of selected health outcomes and injuries from a nationally representative sample of U.S. LHTDs. The NIOSH survey was a cross-sectional, personal interview of LHTDs at 32 truck stops along select interstate highways across the contiguous U.S. during October to December 2010 and 1,265 LHTDs completed the full interview.

The goal of the recently released report NIOSH National Survey of Long-Haul Truck Drivers: Injury and Safety is to provide descriptive data on truck crashes, work-related injuries, work environments, safety climate, driver training, job satisfaction, and driving behaviors among U.S. LHTDs. Findings include:

The complete report NIOSH National Survey of Long-Haul Truck Drivers: Injury and Safety can be accessed at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4631642/.

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The information contained in this publication was obtained from sources believed to be reliable. ISO Services, Inc., its companies and employees make no guarantee of results and assume no liability in connection with either the information herein contained or the safety suggestions herein made. Moreover, it cannot be assumed that every acceptable safety procedure is contained herein or that abnormal or unusual circumstances may not warrant or require further or additional procedure.


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