NIOSH national survey of long-haul truck drivers: Injury and safety

Accid Anal Prev. 2015 Dec;85:66-72. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2015.09.001. Epub 2015 Sep 19.

Abstract

Approximately 1,701,500 people were employed as heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers in the United States in 2012. The majority of them were long-haul truck drivers (LHTDs). There are limited data on occupational injury and safety in LHTDs, which prompted a targeted national survey. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health conducted a nationally representative survey of 1265 LHTDs at 32 truck stops across the contiguous United States in 2010. Data were collected on truck crashes, near misses, moving violations, work-related injuries, work environment, safety climate, driver training, job satisfaction, and driving behaviors. Results suggested that an estimated 2.6% of LHTDs reported a truck crash in 2010, 35% reported at least one crash while working as an LHTD, 24% reported at least one near miss in the previous 7 days, 17% reported at least one moving violation ticket and 4.7% reported a non-crash injury involving days away from work in the previous 12 months. The majority (68%) of non-crash injuries among company drivers were not reported to employers. An estimate of 73% of LHTDs (16% often and 58% sometimes) perceived their delivery schedules unrealistically tight; 24% often continued driving despite fatigue, bad weather, or heavy traffic because they needed to deliver or pick up a load at a given time; 4.5% often drove 10miles per hours or more over the speed limit; 6.0% never wore a seatbelt; 36% were often frustrated by other drivers on the road; 35% often had to wait for access to a loading dock; 37% reported being noncompliant with hours-of-service rules (10% often and 27% sometimes); 38% of LHTDs perceived their entry-level training inadequate; and 15% did not feel that safety of workers was a high priority with their management. This survey brings to light a number of important safety issues for further research and interventions, e.g., high prevalence of truck crashes, injury underreporting, unrealistically tight delivery schedules, noncompliance with hours-of-service rules, and inadequate entry-level training.

Keywords: Hours of service; Long-haul truck drivers; Risk factor; Survey; Truck driver injury; Truck driver safety.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Automobile Driving / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Vehicles / statistics & numerical data*
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, U.S.
  • Occupational Injuries*
  • Safety / statistics & numerical data*
  • Seat Belts / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Wounds and Injuries*