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A story of impact: improved safety for truck drivers: designing safer cabs based on driver body dimensions.

Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2011-188, 2011 Aug; :1-2
Truck driving can be a hazardous occupation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2009 truck drivers experienced 16.8% of all transportation-related fatalities and 2.04% of the nonfatal injuries requiring days away from work, even though they only made up 1.0% of the U.S. workforce. Truck drivers spend long hours behind the wheel, working an average of 41.5 hours per week. Therefore, a well-designed truck cab can make a significant difference in the working conditions for a truck driver. Truck cab design impacts comfort, but more importantly impacts the safety of truck drivers and other road users. For example, if the design of the truck cab is poorly fitted to the size and dimensions of the driver, the road may be less visible, driving controls may be more difficult to reach, and seatbelts may be less comfortable and less likely to be used - all of which increase the risk of injury to the driver and other road users. Truck manufacturers consider the body dimensions of truck drivers as they design truck cabs. However, until recently the most current body measurement data for truck drivers dated from the early 1980s. The composition of the trucker workforce has changed dramatically in the past 30 years, with an increase in the diversity of ethnic groups and the percentage of women working in this profession. As the truck manufacturing industry moves forward to design the next generation of truck cabs, there is a pressing need for up-to-date information on the body dimensions of U.S. truck drivers.
Transportation-industry; Transportation-workers; Truck-drivers; Trucking; Mortality-data; Mortality-rates; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Ergonomics; Biomechanical-engineering; Biomechanics
Publication Date
Document Type
Numbered Publication; Impact Sheet
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2011-188
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division