Commercial, long-haul truckers experience a raft of work-related injuries which impact their ability to work and earn a living. When strains and sprains, soft tissue injuries, fractures, chronic pain, or traumatic brain injuries keep truckers off the road, they can recover compensation to pay for their medical bills and lost wages.
Common Injuries and Effects on Truckers
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), commercial long-haul truckers experience high rates of injuries on the job. Up to 68 percent of truckers do not report their injuries to their employers. Therefore, many truckers forego potential workers’ compensation benefits which could provide relief to those who are unable to work.
According to OSHA, these are the five most common trucker injuries:
- Strains and Sprains: about half of all commercial truckers report that they strain their ligaments, tendons, and muscles while performing regular functions attendant to their job such as coupling trailers, lifting loads or gear, or sitting for extended periods of time. If these strains and sprains go untreated, resulting chronic joint and back pain can make long-haul trucking untenable.
- Soft Tissue Injuries: Truckers frequently report falls, especially in bad weather, which can result in bruising and soft tissue injuries.
- Fractures: Getting struck by falling or crashing objects can result in concussions and fractures.
- Cuts and Lacerations: Similarly, truckers often incur lacerations and cuts while inspecting their equipment or securing their loads. These lacerations often require stitches or other medical treatment.
- Multiple Traumatic Injuries: Trucking crashes often cause traumatic brain or back and neck injuries. According to a NIOSH study, 70 percent of deadly truck accidents are caused by the careless actions of other drivers.
CDC Recommends Truckers Report Injuries
Many truckers fail to report their work-related injuries. This can exacerbate their conditions resulting in even more long-term injuries, chronic pain, and lost time from work. According to the Centers for Disease Control, truckers should take greater care of their health and report injuries – including non-crash related injuries. These injuries can result in increased chances a crash may occur because the trucker is not able to devote all of his attention to the road if he is distracted by chronic pain.