The Very Real Dangers of Driving Jobs and Trucking Careers

Job & Careerby Mashum Mollah19 October 2020

driving jobs

Did you know that there are over 3.5 million truck drivers in the USA?

Many people consider truck driving a dream job. It opens up the opportunity to travel and offers job security, as we will always need a freight industry.

However, did you know that driving jobs have their own occupational hazards? What are some of these?

Why not take a few minutes to read our in-depth articles to find out more about the dangers of driving for a living.

Fatigue

Fatigue is still one of the biggest reasons for accidents on the road amongst drivers in general. This is despite government legislation aimed at reducing driver fatigue.

The law states that a truck driver may drive for 11 hours out of each 14 hour period. However, instead of limiting the driving time for each driver, it forces drivers to drive in more stressful times – such as high traffic times – with the goal of maximizing their 11 hours.

Drivers now think more in terms of compliance with E-log monitoring than their own physical condition. This can lead to poor decisions such as breaks at non-beneficial times or stopping on roadsides rather than certified truck stops.

Winter Weather

Depending on your driving route, seasonal conditions could make a major impact on your driving experience.

If you have grown up in a state with sunshine almost all year round, you may never have fitted snow chains. If you are asked to drive through ice and snow to make a delivery, you could have a problem.

Despite theoretical training regarding how to drive in winter, it can be dangerous to attempt it without experience. An inexperienced driver may prioritize meeting delivery deadlines over safe driving. The result of this is the trucks we see in the ditches of freeways.

Weather conditions can change quickly and sometimes without warning. This can present a danger for inexperienced drivers.

Summer Traffic

Summer may bring better driving conditions, but it also brings significantly more traffic on the roads. Holidaymakers in RVs, car drivers that are unsure of their destination, and foreign drivers that are unfamiliar with local driving laws can slow traffic down. This can cause frustration for even the most experienced driver.

A frustrated driver drives more erratically. They may also try to make up for the lost time when they find an open highway.

In general, the rate of accidents on the road is on the decline. However, summer diving conditions do lead to frustration for truck drivers on a schedule.

Parking Up

Finding a truck stop is more difficult than you may think.

Understandably, the goal of trucking companies is to deliver goods efficiently. However, this can make finding a safe place to rest challenging.

Trucking companies often encourage their drivers to take smaller roads instead of larger toll roads. This can make it more difficult to find large truckstops with good amenities.

Smaller truck stops have limited spaces and quickly fill up. This can leave truck drivers running out of driving time and stranded on an offramp or, worse, a field. Parking away from a well-lit truck stop with security cameras exposes drivers to criminal activity.

Unknown Locations

When you are sitting in the high driving position of a 16-wheeler, you may feel invincible. But truck drivers often have to travel to places they do not know well. This can create feelings of insecurity and anxiety.

Even in a well known well-lit truck stop, criminality can occur. It is not unknown for criminals to wake a driver during the night and rob him at gunpoint.

Drivers have to deliver to every part of the North American continent. This includes places where civil unrest or robbery statistics are high.

Non-Driving Tasks

Driving a truck around the country may sound like fun; however, there is more to trucking than driving.

Several non-driving tasks create danger for drivers. When you arrive at a drop-off point, you will need to organize unloading. Has your load shifted during transit? You could be carrying several tons of material. If they have become unstable, they may be very difficult to unload them safely.

A 16-wheel truck is a beautiful machine, but have you tried to install snow-chains on each wheel when the temperature has dropped below freezing?

These may seem like mundane tasks. However, due to the size and weight of your truck, they create very real dangers.

High Driver Turnover

The truck driving industry has a very high rate of driver turnover. This could be due to several factors. Drivers have to be away from their families for a long period of time. Some develop back pain because of long driving hours.

This turnover rate does not encourage companies to invest in significant training for their drivers. This means that many drivers on the road are inexperienced and not thoroughly trained.

Driver Culture

When you think of a truck driver, what image comes to your mind? A lean, healthy athlete? Or an overweight, unhealthy person? Generally, we think of the latter.

Whilst this may be a stereotype, it is not altogether untrue. There is still a culture of poor health choices on the part of drivers. While they may not drive under the influence as happened in previous decades, they, in general, still prioritize schedule over diet.

This often means picking up fast food rather than waiting for a healthier option. Over time this can have serious health effects.

The Pros and Cons of Driving Jobs and Much More

At first glance, driving jobs could seem to offer a dream career. You can travel the length and breadth of North America, learn a great deal about trucks, engines, and the freight industry. However, this dream career is not without its dangers.

If you are considering a change of career, you will need to do thorough research. Why not check out our blog articles? We research current developments and bring them to you regularly via our feed.

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Mashum Mollah

Mashum Mollah is an entrepreneur, founder and CEO at Viacon, a digital marketing agency that drive visibility, engagement, and proven results. He blogs at thedailynotes.com/.

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