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Staying Safe & Sharing the Road with Trucks

Trucks are a vital part of our supply chain, but they also pose a high accident and injury risk on our roads.

Over the past six months, as Covid-19 has kept us home and changed the way we live our daily lives, we’ve been made more aware than ever of how much we rely on long-haul truck drivers. They are an indispensable part of the supply chain that delivers to our doors everything from groceries to books to disinfectant wipes. When we can’t go out to shop, we go online to order what we need, and truck drivers are an essential part of moving and delivering those items. An astounding 70% of all products get where they need to go on a truck!

“74% of all fatal passenger vehicle crashes involve a large truck.”

As necessary as these trucks are to our lives, they also can pose a danger: statistics show that 74% of all fatal passenger vehicle crashes involve a large truck. And a full 97% of the deaths in truck crashes are the occupants of passenger vehicles. It’s not hard to imagine why a car crash involving a truck would be particularly dangerous, or why serious injuries and fatalities would be more likely to happen to someone in the smaller vehicle involved in a crash, but can anything be done to decrease the chance of an accident in the first place?

Getting quality sleep and being well-rested are crucial factors in safe driving and accident avoidance, so encouraging truckers to stay well-rested and healthy would be a great place to start. Long-haul truck drivers work long hours and are away from home for extended periods of time, working conditions that are not particularly conducive to healthy habits like good nutrition, exercise, and restful sleep. Overall health can influence quality of sleep, and studies have found that truckers tend to have an increased rate of some health problems. In an examination by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention it was found that, in comparison to other workers in the US, truck drivers suffer from higher rates of obesity, heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes. 

In another study of the health and well-being of truckers, it was found that more than 20% of truck drivers reported unspecified sleep disorders, and nearly 30% reported suffering from insomnia. Insomnia and other sleep disorders are a serious safety risk not just to long-haul truck drivers, but to people behind the wheel in general. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine reports that individuals who have trouble falling asleep most nights were more than twice as likely to die from a motor vehicle injury. Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the best things you can do to help keep yourself and others safe on the road!

As always, all of us here at Burnett & Williams hope that you and your loved ones are healthy, and always practice safe driving when you are behind the wheel. And please don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-800-969-1650 for a free consultation, if the need ever arises.