As the Connecticut Department of Labor indicates, trucker jobs in the state are on an upward trend, with estimates showing an average of 1,760 job openings per year through 2030. Trucking is a demanding profession that keeps goods moving across the country. However, it is also a job that exposes truck drivers to various career-threatening injuries.
These injuries highlight the importance of prioritizing safety and well-being in the trucking industry.
1. Back and spinal injuries
Prolonged hours of sitting and operating heavy vehicles can take a toll on a truck driver’s back and spine. Many drivers suffer from chronic back pain or spinal injuries due to the constant strain on these areas. Such injuries can severely limit a driver’s ability to continue working.
2. Repetitive stress injuries
Repetitive tasks such as lifting heavy cargo, coupling and uncoupling trailers and turning the steering wheel for extended periods can lead to repetitive stress injuries. Conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis can make it challenging for truck drivers to perform their jobs efficiently.
3. Traumatic brain injuries
Truck accidents can result in traumatic brain injuries, even when drivers wear seat belts. TBIs can have severe consequences, affecting a driver’s cognitive abilities, memory and overall mental health. Recovery from such injuries may be lengthy, making it difficult for drivers to return to work.
4. Shoulder and neck injuries
Constantly gripping the steering wheel and making sudden movements can lead to shoulder and neck injuries. These injuries, such as rotator cuff tears or whiplash, can limit drivers’ range of motion and cause chronic pain, making it challenging to continue their careers.
5. Vision problems
Good vision matters for safe truck driving. However, long hours on the road, exposure to bright headlights at night and the strain of focusing on the road can lead to vision problems. Poor eyesight may result in accidents and force drivers to retire prematurely.
6. Hearing loss
The constant noise inside the truck cab can contribute to hearing loss over time. Truck drivers often experience hearing problems, which not only affect their job performance but also their overall quality of life.
Truck drivers face a range of career-threatening injuries that can have a significant impact on their livelihoods. The isolation, long hours and stress associated with truck driving can take a toll on mental health. Many truck drivers struggle with depression and anxiety, which can impact their ability to work and lead to early retirement.