Common Hazards Truckers Experience Out on the Road

A truck driving along a highway with greenery and hills surrounding it.

The trucking industry is no doubt an important part of our country’s economy — but it’s far from an easy job. Truckers face a wide array of hazards and potential health problems while out on the road that can jeopardize both their comfort and their well-being. To ensure that you’re prepared to set out on the road, let’s take a look at four common safety hazards that commercial truck drivers experience.

Distracted Driving

Just like other drivers, truckers need to be careful about distracted driving. Taking your eyes off the road for prolonged periods of time can impair the driver’s ability to respond quickly to sudden changes in the road and obstacles, resulting in a collision or other vehicular accident. Truck drivers, in particular, need to be wary of distracted driving — large trucks have double the fatality rate compared to other vehicles, meaning that extra caution and defensive driving knowledge are needed to stay safe and prevent vehicular accidents.

Inclement Weather

Transportation accidents aren’t just caused by drivers — the weather can have a profound impact on the state of the road and the driver’s ability to control their vehicle. Given that trucks are much larger and heavier compared to other vehicles because of the loads they carry, truck drivers need to be even more careful during inclement weather.

For example, trucks can slide on an icy road after a snow or hail storm, and rain can also make the ground slippery and harder to stop on. Additionally, truck drivers can experience skin damage and other problems after prolonged exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun, meaning that even sunny days carry their own hazards. As a result, truckers must make an effort to prepare for all kinds of weather during their rides and should watch out for any notable changes during their travels.

Physical Health

There are several different ways that truck drivers can sustain injuries while out on the road or traveling. While stepping out of their vehicle, a driver can slip and fall when trying to enter and exit their truck, resulting in a variety of physical injuries. Also, if they transport biologically hazardous cargo, they might accidentally come into contact with toxic substances and experience chemical burns and other serious injuries.

In addition, truckers are at increased risk of certain hazards compared to other drivers because of the nature of their jobs. Obesity, for instance, is higher in long haul truck drivers and can facilitate other health problems. Truckers can have a higher chance of developing diabetes, heart disease, sleep disorders, and other such problems. Further, being in the presence of excessive sound levels for extended periods of time can cause severe headaches and potentially even hearing loss. Being aware of these potential problems and knowing how to combat and prevent them will ensure that truck drivers can stay safe and healthy.

Ergonomic Hazards 

Prolonged driving can lead to more than just health problems — if an effort is not made to stay comfortable, the sedentary nature of the job can lead to ergonomic injuries. Sitting down for too long or in an uncomfortable position can cause back pain and other problems. Not only will this make truck drivers uncomfortable, but it can impact their ability to move cargo and affect other aspects of their daily lives. As a result, taking care to stretch, take walking breaks, and invest in ergonomic-friendly seating can go a long way to ensure that truckers stay comfortable and safe while on long trips.

Learn More About Common Trucker Injuries and How to Prevent Them at the American Driver Training Academy

Understanding the potential problems that can occur while trucking is imperative for any aspiring truck driver. If you’re interested in a trucking career and want to learn about how you can stay safe for prolonged periods on the road, join the American Driver Training Academy.

We provide students with a variety of training courses that will teach them everything they’ll need to know about driving big trucks. For additional information on how we can get help get you on the road in four weeks, don’t hesitate to contact us today!