Trucking is vital to nearly every industry in the country. Without it, the things we enjoy on a daily basis from food to ordering online would be nearly inaccessible. Unfortunately, the job of a truck driver is also a dangerous one. Not only are there an alarming number of truck-related accidents each year, drivers suffer a number of injuries just from performing their job.
Whether you work on local routes or long hauls, knowing how to avoid these injuries is vital to your wellbeing. Here’s how you can avoid the most common injuries sustained by truck drivers.
1. Get Your Rest
One of the top causes of truck-related accidents is a lack of sleep. Your company might pressure you to drive a high number of hours at a time, causing you to go an increasingly long time without rest. As you become more tired, your reflexes slow and your decision-making abilities go out the window.
The combination can lead to a fatal crash. So, remember to sleep when you need it. Your life is far more important than the cargo you’re hauling. If you are involved in a trucking accident caused by a lack of sleep, you might be able to defend yourself by pointing out your employer’s unrealistic expectations.
2. Stay Seated in the Proper Position
Back and neck injuries are common amongst truck drivers. They develop over years of improper posture caused by the way most people sit when they drive. You can save yourself a headache down the road by ensuring you don’t slouch, that the base of your wrists meet the top of the steering wheel, and that your back is kept in an upright position.
3. Know Your Truck
Each truck comes with its own set of issues. While knowing how to make minor repairs and operate your vehicle is important, knowing your where your blind spots are is vital to avoiding an accident. A large portion of accidents are caused by misjudging where cars are in relation to a truck.
4. Stick with the Speed Limit
It’s tempting to speed in a truck. Not only are they powerhouses, but you have deadlines to meet. However, the weight of your truck means that it gets harder to stop as your speed increases. Stick with the speed limit to keep yourself in control of your truck at all times.
5. Loosen Your Grip
Carpal tunnel is another common injury for truck drivers. Over time, gripping the steering wheel too tight can cause the carpal bones in your wrist to close on the tunnel protecting your nerves and tendons. If you loosen your grip, this injury is entirely avoidable. The same is true for wrist sprains when opening cargo containers.
6. Wear Boots with Plenty of Tread
Slipping and falling is also a common injury. It can occur for a variety of reasons, but almost always happens when climbing in or out of a truck. Wearing boots with plenty of tread is an excellent wat to ensure this doesn’t happen. In some cases, damage caused by repairs or ear and tear cause the accident. It’s difficult to tell when you need a personal injury attorney for this or any scenario in this article, but you should talk to one anyway to see if you’re entitled to compensation. Believe it or not, over half of all injury cases find the trucking company liable.