Survey of Truck Drivers Highlights Injury Underreporting, Inadequate Training
A NIOSH survey of long-haul truck drivers in the U.S. highlights a number of safety issues in the industry, including injury underreporting, a high prevalence of truck crashes, noncompliance with driving-hour regulations, and inadequate entry-level training. The study, which is the first to describe truck crashes, occupational injuries, work environments, and driver training, attitudes, and behaviors, was published in the December issue of Accident Analysis and Prevention and . The survey found that 68 percent of non-crash injuries among company drivers that involved days away from work were not reported to employers. Thirty-five percent of drivers noted at least one crash in their career, and 38 percent said that the training they received at the beginning of their careers was inadequate. Nearly 75 percent of drivers surveyed perceived their delivery schedules to be “unrealistically tight,” which NIOSH researchers note could make drivers more likely to take unsafe actions such as speeding or driving while fatigued. Twenty-four percent of drivers surveyed said that they often continued driving despite fatigue, bad weather, or heavy traffic because of the need to pick up or deliver a load at a given time, and nearly five percent of drivers reported driving 10 miles per hour or more over the speed limit. Limited data on occupational injury and safety in long-haul truck drivers prompted NIOSH’s targeted national survey, which included interviews with 1,265 long-haul truck drivers at 32 truck stops across the continental U.S.
For more information, see NIOSH’s press release.