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Why Delivery Truck Drivers Have One of the Highest Rates of Injuries and Fatalities Among All Occupations

At Waple & Houk, PLLC, our Charlotte workers’ compensation attorneys know that, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), delivery truck drivers have one of the highest rates of injuries and fatalities among all occupations.

The BLS reports there are 1,705,600 delivery truck drivers in the U.S. workforce, and their employment is expected to increase by 12% by 2028, faster than the median growth rate for all occupations.

Unfortunately, with substantial growth in the industry may come higher accident, injury, and fatality rates associated with the occupation.

Our North Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys discuss what is driving these statistics.

Delivery Truck Drivers

How Many Delivery Drivers Are Suffering Fatal and Non-Fatal Injuries Each Year in the U.S.?

Delivery drivers load and unload trucks or cars and drive them to their destination within a local area. These workers generally pick up cargo, food, laundry, or other items from distribution centers or stores and deliver them to homes and businesses. They also may communicate with customers to coordinate deliveries, collect payment for goods, and process paperwork like delivery signatures.

According to the BLS, the incidence rate of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses involving days away from work was 262.1 cases per 10,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers among heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers and 233.0 cases per 10,000 FTE workers among light truck or delivery services drivers.

The fatal injury rate was 27 per 100,000 workers, accounting for 966 deaths last year alone.

What are the Most Common Causes of Delivery Driver Work-Related Injuries and Fatalities?

Delivery truck drivers have one of the highest rates of injuries and fatalities among all occupations due to various factors inherent in their job roles.

Some of the key reasons include:

  • Driving-Related Risks

Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death on the job for delivery truck drivers.

Delivery truck drivers spend significant time on the road, increasing their exposure to the risk of traffic accidents. This includes collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians, or stationary objects.

Delivery drivers may face pressure to meet tight delivery deadlines that can lead to rushing, increased stress, and a higher likelihood of accidents. Extended driving hours and pressured delivery schedules can lead to driver fatigue, impaired reaction times, and an increased risk of accidents.

  • Material Handling/Delivery Hazards

Delivery truck drivers often manually handle heavy goods during loading and unloading. Improper lifting techniques and repetitive motions can lead to musculoskeletal injuries.

Delivery truck drivers often navigate various environments, including residential neighborhoods and commercial areas, where hazards such as uneven terrain, poor lighting, or lack of clear pathways can contribute to accidents.

In addition, delivery drivers make numerous stops during their routes, increasing the likelihood of slips, trips, and falls, especially when handling packages in various weather conditions.

  • Vehicle-Related Risks

Issues with delivery trucks, including mechanical failures, brake malfunctions, tire blowouts, and other vehicle-related risks, can contribute to accidents.

To address these issues, companies must prioritize employee safety, provide comprehensive training, implement safety protocols, and encourage a culture of awareness and responsibility among their workforce.

Contact Our Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Charlotte Today

If you have been hurt while working as a delivery driver in North Carolina, contact our dedicated workers’ compensation attorneys in Charlotte today by phone at (704)-954-8697 or schedule a free consultation online to learn more about how we can help you pursue the best outcome for your claim.