Everyone knows that driving puts them at risk for getting hurt, but most people incur that risk on their personal time. The vast majority of crashes involve people in their own vehicles conducting their lives. However, you can’t ignore the large number of people who get into crashes while driving for work.
Transportation-related job duties may be the riskiest work obligations an employee can have. Although there may be other jobs that have higher rates of injury and death, the task of transportation is a leading cause of injury and death across many industries.
Those who drive for a living, whether they are delivering food out of their own vehicle or hauling commercial goods across the country, have a noteworthy level of risk for getting into a crash while on the job.
Transportation-related careers greatly increase a worker’s risk
Transportation is still one of the biggest job risks. Deaths related to transportation were at highest-ever levels in 2019 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the forthcoming release of 2020 data will likely show a continuation in that trend based solely on the rate of crashes in 2020.
Workers who drive for a living, including sales professionals, local delivery drivers and long-haul truckers, are at higher risk than other professions because of all the time at the wheel. These professions accounted for 1,005 of the 5,333 workplace deaths reported in 2019. Those working in transportation-related fields, in other words, accounted for nearly 19% of all workplace deaths.
The data on job driving risks may skew low
One misleading consideration about these work-related transportation deaths is that the figure may not adequately reflect the total number of people who die on the job. The data analyzed relies on employer reporting of on-the-job incidents and workers’ compensation claims.
If someone dies while working as an independent contractor, their crash may not get included with the federal statistics for workplace deaths. It’s also worth noting that for every fatality that occurs, many other people driving on the job will suffer serious injuries.
Provided those injured workers aren’t owner-operators or independent contractors, workers’ compensation can help them pay their bills while they are off of work.