Weekly Market Update for June 04th, 2024: Trucking is a dangerous occupation

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Truck driving is not only a mentally and physically demanding job; it’s one of the most deadly. 

Transportation accidents and falls caused more than half of the on-the-job deaths reported in the United States in 2022, the most recent year for which data is available. Those hazards are more common in the most dangerous occupations. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5,486 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States in 2022, a 5.7% increase from 5,190 in 2021. The fatal work injury rate was 3.7 fatalities per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, up from 3.6 per 100,000 FTE in 2021. 

Key findings

    • A worker died every 96 minutes from a work-related injury in 2022 compared to 101 minutes in 2021.
    • Fatalities due to violence and other injuries by persons or animals increased by 11.6% to 849 in 2022, compared to 761 in 2021. Homicides accounted for 61.7% of these fatalities, with 524 deaths, an 8.9% increase from 2021.
    • Unintentional overdoses increased 13.1%to a series high of 525 fatalities in 2022, up from 464 in 2021, continuing a trend of annual increases since 2012.
    • Workers in transportation and material moving occupations experienced 1,620 fatal work injuries in 2022 and represented the occupational group with the most fatalities. The next highest was construction and extraction workers, with 1,056 fatalities, an 11.0% increase from 2021. 
    • Transportation incidents remained the most frequent type of fatal event, accounting for 37.7% of all occupational fatalities. 
      • There were 2,066 fatal injuries from transportation incidents in 2022, a 4.2% increase from 1,982 in 2021. 
    • Workers in the 55 to 64 age group continued to have the highest number of fatalities in 2022, with 1,175 (21.4 percent of total fatalities), up from 1,140 in 2021. 
    • Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicles increased 9.3% between 2021 and 2022, leading to a series high of 1,369 fatalities. 
    • Pedestrian vehicular incidents were down 3.6% in 2022, with 325 fatalities, which is the lowest number of fatalities since 2018. 

 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the jobs with the highest rates of fatal injuries are listed below. 

  1. Logger 100.7 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers (54 workers in 2022)
  2. Roofer 57.5 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers (105 workers)
  3. Fisherman/hunter 50.9 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers (16 workers)
  4. Construction laborer 38.5 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers (20 workers)
  5. Aircraft pilots 35.9 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers (72 workers)
  6. Truck driver 30.4 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers (1,115 workers)
  7. Garbage collector 22.6 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers (22 workers)
  8. Ironworker 21.3 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers (14 workers)
  9. Miner 20.1 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers (8 workers)
  10. Farmworker 20.0 deaths per 100,000 full-time workers (146 workers)

 

On top of the risk exposure, a typical long-haul driver will spend just under 85% of their time away from home compared to just 28% for the average commuting office worker. Most over-the-road drivers get one day at home for every seven days on the road, and even though a solo driver could work up to 14 hours per day, their off-duty period is still away from home, unlike traditional office workers.

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