The Truth About Truck Drivers
As of 2019, the US Census Bureau indicates that more than 3.5 million people work as truck drivers, 15.5 million trucks are operating, and the industry is continuing to grow. Trucks are everywhere on the road and are an extremely important component to keeping our economy running smoothly. Without truck drivers, our nation would suffer some serious and even life-threatening consequences. Even still, the truck driving occupation is surrounded by stigma and misconceptions.
Let’s debunk 5 common myths and misconceptions about our nation’s truck drivers!
Myth #1: Truck drivers cause lots of accidents
Most people on the road think that truck drivers are irresponsible and dangerous to drive beside. This is not true. Tractor-trailers are involved in about 500,000 highway accidents per year, which only accounts for 2.4% of all car accidents that occur each year. Of those 500,000 accidents, 75% are caused by the passenger vehicle – not the truck driver. It is also a common misconception that truck drivers abuse drugs and alcohol while driving, therefore causing accidents. In reality, fatigue, new tour routes, and mechanical defects are the most common causes of truck crashes according to a study conducted by FMCSA. In this same study, only 0.4% of crashes were caused by drug use and 0.3% were due to alcohol consumption.
Myth #2: Being a truck driver is so easy, all they do is sit there
Also not true. Becoming a truck driver isn’t as easy as just getting a driver’s license. According to TransForce, truck drivers have to have a clean driving record, be able to pass random drug and health screenings, and obtain a Commercial Learner’s Permit all before being able to start training for a Commercial Driver’s License. Once you’re on the road, there’s more to the job than just driving. Commercial driving requires steady concentration and sitting for long periods of time, which can cause back and muscle problems. Truck drivers also must maintain knowledge of federal regulations. Many truck drivers regularly work with and around others at terminals, docks, warehouses, and other delivery and pick-up locations. Workers at these locations often have to use heavy equipment, such as forklifts, front-loaders, and cranes.
Myth #3: Trucks are the biggest vehicles on the road, they must be safe
Wrong. Being on the road is dangerous as it is, and even more so when you’re behind the wheel of a commercial truck. Working as a truck driver is both a physically and mentally demanding job and truck drivers can fall victim to some serious injuries that many people may not be aware of. Some of the common injuries truck drivers can endure include knee, ankle, and foot injuries, neck and back injuries from prolonged sitting, traumatic brain injuries from accidents or working at terminals, docks, or warehouses, and repetitive stress and strain disorders.
Myth #4: Working as a truck driver is no longer a good career
Truck drivers are one of the most important factors in keeping our economy running. There would be extreme consequences if trucks stopped running including food shortages, waste buildup, hospitals running out of basic supplies, and service stations running out of fuel. In addition, truck drivers who work full-time can make up to $60K in their first year with benefits. And while trucking can be a dangerous job, there are resources available such as workers comp, medical care, and attorney services for accidents, injuries, medical malpractice, and more.
Myth #5: No one cares about truck drivers
Definitely not true! The Hurt Trucker Attorneys of Buchanan, Williams, & O’Brien have been helping injured truckers recover the benefits and compensation they’re owed for the past 50 years. At Hurt Trucker we believe that injured drivers deserve respect and support, so we offer all injured truck drivers a free consultation to discuss their rights, free trucker injury resources, and invite all injured truckers to contact us with any questions or visit our offices in St. Louis, Carthage, or Joplin, Missouri.