Trucking Continues to be Among Most Dangerous Professions

The trucking industry continues to be among the most dangerous professions in the United States according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bureau reported work related deaths totaled 474 in 2011.

This total was 13.9% higher than the previous year. The trucking industry trailed only agriculture, forestry, and the fishing and hunting industries in employment fatalities. This increase represented the second consecutive year counts have risen in the trucking sector.

The bureau also reported vehicle related incidents including on road trucking accidents accounted for 397 of the 474 trucking deaths. Other causes which only resulted in a small portion of the fatalities included violence, fires, and falls. Other statistics showed “general freight” accounted for 295 deaths in 2011 up 16.1% from the previous year while specialized trucking accounted for 156 deaths up 12.2 from the previous year. Specialized trucking is classified as household goods moving which requires special equipment. The other 23 deaths were not classified.

In other safety related news, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration release a separate report in September outlining factors in 201o fatal crashes. This report indicated 5.5% of drivers involved in fatal crashes were distracted. Nine percent of these drivers were using cell phones.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration banned the use of all cell phones for all commercial drivers in December 2011.

Overall statistics show total workplace fatalities fell 1.8% to 4609 or 3.5 deaths per 100,000 full time employees. The rate in 2010 was 3.6 per 100,000 workers. These figures includes all fatal injuries by workers at their employers premises.

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