NIOSH Study Reveals Safety Issues in Long-haul Trucking Industry

December 11, 2015
NIOSH Update:

Press Contact: Stephanie Stevens (202) 245-0641

New data from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) highlights a number of important safety issues facing long-haul truck drivers (LHTD) and their employers. The study, published this month in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention, is the first to describe truck crashes, work-related injuries, work environments, driver training, attitudes and behaviors.

Key findings of the study, which are based on NIOSH’s National Survey of LHTD Health and Injury, include the following:

  • 68% of non-crash injuries involving days away from work among company drivers were not reported to employers;
  • 73% of the drivers surveyed perceived their delivery deadlines as unrealistically tight, which could increase likelihood of unsafe actions such as speeding, violating driving-hour regulations, and driving despite fatigue, bad weather, or heavy traffic;
  • 35% of the drivers reported at least one crash in their career; and
  • 38% of the drivers reported receiving inadequate training at the beginning of their careers.

NIOSH conducted the survey in 2010 interviewing 1,265 long-haul truck drivers at 32 truck stops across the continental U.S. about their health, safety, health behaviors, work practices, and involvement in truck crashes. NIOSH published initial findings from the survey in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine addressing obesity and the risk of chronic disease in relation to LHTD health and work practices in 2014.

The most recent paper is available online at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26397196external icon. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), within the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulates the health requirements and work schedules for truck drivers. FMCSA provided financial support for this study.

NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. For more information about NIOSH visit www.cdc.gov/niosh/.

Page last reviewed: December 9, 2015