When we go to the grocery store, we expect to find shelves stocked with the food we like, seldom reflecting on how it got there. Behind those stocked shelves, however, are the long-haul truck drivers whose jobs regularly require them to leave their families, friends, and homes to travel hundreds of miles to deliver the products that we buy. The most recent statistics available, from 2012, show that more than 1.7 million people work as heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers in the United States. Most of these drivers operate long-haul trucks transporting goods, often across several states. In 2012, 695 heavy and tractor-trailer drivers died in work-related motor vehicle crashes.
To gather data needed by private- and public-sector partners to help keep truck drivers safe on long hauls, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted personal interviews with 1,265 long-haul truck drivers at 32 truck stops across the United States. The drivers answered questions about their experiences with crashes, injuries from crashes, non-crash injuries, and moving violations; their work environments; driving behaviors; training; and job satisfaction and frustration. NIOSH reported these findings from the drivers’ answers: