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Trucker Health & Safety Concerns

Let’s talk about some other huge issues of the job: health & safety. Trucking is by far America’s deadliest industry, which has the highest number of occupational fatalities each year, by a wide margin. Truck drivers have a much greater level of responsibility to be safer than most other people on the road. We are responsible for our safety, the safety of everyone else on the road, our equipment and cargo. The weight of these huge responsibilities cannot be taken lightly. According to the National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, more than 1 of every 7 work-related deaths was directly related to heavy-duty trucking. In 2019, there were 843 trucker deaths and it has been steadily going up every year.


If you’re lucky enough not to die in a horrific accident, trucking still doesn’t provide drivers a healthy lifestyle. More than 50% of truck drivers are obese. Let that sink in: more than 50%, compared to the national rate of 26.7% (which is also extremely high, but that’s another issue). Compared to the general population, the prevalence of diabetes is 50% higher & 87% of truck drivers have hypertension (high blood pressure).


Then come the long hours. Truckers work long hours on a daily basis and are pressured to meet time deadlines, often multiple times a day. We often don’t get enough rest, resulting in being fatigued while driving. Sleep deprivation not only leads to poor health, but a fatigued truck driver is more susceptible to causing an accident, injuring himself and others.


Then we got our good friends in the Government attempting to screw us at every turn. Their latest project is to implement yet another great idea of speed limiters, which we all have had to deal with when one truck doing 62.1 mph is attempting to pass another truck doing 62 mph and everyone is stuck behind them for miles without a safe way to go around. That makes people angry and results in road rage, which then leads to unsafe driving and accidents.


And I’m going to have to mention the ELD yet again, because a recent study concluded that the federal ELD mandate has not reduced accidents at all. In fact, the study found its implementation directly correlates with an increase in unsafe driving incidents and speeding citations, which caused a significant increase in accidents. That increase happened as a direct result of the federal ELD mandate, and was especially true for owner-operators. The stricter hours-of-service enforcement led drivers to try to compress their routes into the time allotted, which didn’t help anyone. Owner-operators experienced a whopping 11.6% increase in accidents, while small carriers with 2 to 20 trucks had a 9% increase, according to the 2022 study. If you’re wondering, fatigue-related crashes are way up as well. The researchers’ analysis of unsafe driving infractions for different sizes of carriers during the light (12/2017 to 4/2018) and strict (after 4/2018) enforcement periods showed that these also increased. This was true for all size carriers, but the increases were greater for small and medium-sized carriers that had not been using an ELD before the mandate.


And what about relationships? It is nearly impossible for a driver to build any sort of relationship living in a box on the road not knowing what city you’ll end up in next, which contributes to driver depression being at an all time high, so while we’re sacrificing and suffering to do our jobs, wealthy shippers and brokers are squeezing transport contracts at every turn, which means corners have to be cut in safety on our end to make ends meet. And who, if not the hardest working members of this industry, stand to lose everything we’ve built while it’s business as usual for the shippers and brokers.


It broke my heart to learn of all the issues plaguing our brothers and sisters, not the least of which are physical and mental health including depression. Wouldn’t it be great if trucking was a brotherhood (& sisterhood) again and we could do things like meet new friends in the industry or even mentors, find love or learn how to take care of and repair a truck you were thinking of buying in the future, or learn how to run the whole business before even buying your first truck? That’s why I decided to do something about it and create the other side of this Alliance called the ClubHouse. It is a collection of different support clubs to help drivers with as many issues as we possibly can.


Check out all the clubs we have to offer (so far) on the ClubHouse page and our other detailed info pages for more info

join the Alliance and let's get to war!

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