9 Big Risks Truckers Face
9 Big Risks Truckers Face. Being a trucker is one of the most dangerous professions. Some 388,000 truck accidents occur each year in the US. That means 6.5% of all crashes involve a truck, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Among the main causes of truck accidents are the following:
- Fatigue or drowsiness
There are FMCSA regulations that regulate the breaks that carriers must take and limit the time that they can work during a day and a week. Violating them endangers the life of the operator and other road users. When a trucker feels tired he should immediately find a rest area and sleep.
Truckers are paid by the load, not by the mileage. The faster they work, the more loads they can do and the more money they make. The problem is that speeding is dangerous as it affects braking ability, especially when the truck is loaded. Speeding when the weather or the road is not right is a risk factor.
- Poorly secured cargo
If the merchandise being transported is not properly placed and secured on the truck, it can move during the transfer and when braking, causing the driver to lose control. Inspecting how the load is secured is essential for those who are dedicated to this profession.
It is always dangerous to drink alcohol, before taking a wheel, whether it is a small car or a truck. But when someone is driving a vehicle over 80,000 pounds, drinking can be catastrophic. According to DOT, 2% of truckers who were injured in a year were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, such as amphetamine or cannabis. That is, about 9,000 truckers.
- Inclement weather
This work may be affected by rain, snow, ice, fog, sun glare, smoke from wildfires, tornadoes, hail, and hurricanes. In the face of these inclemencies, the trucker must double the prudence, slow down and in some cases, it is recommended to stop driving.
- Not inspecting the truck
DOT requires that before each trip, the operator inspect various vehicle systems such as brakes including hoses, steering, lights, wheels and tires, horn, rear view mirrors, emergency equipment, trailer hitch system. This inspection can last 15 minutes, but it is necessary to avoid the risk of coming out with a damaged system and causing an accident.
- Other truckers
Sometimes road users themselves become a risk factor. Many truckers can compromise the safety of a colleague by performing dangerous maneuvers.
- Road conditions
Driving on narrow roads, or on uneven pavement, or on a road with a lot of debris and potholes can be the cause of an accident.
- Personal safety
Carrying valuable goods can endanger the integrity of truckers and be victims of attacks and robberies. It is recommended to avoid stopping in remote and dark areas. Close the cabin well when they rest and, if possible, drive with a companion.
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