Transportation Trucking

Unrealistic deadlines lead to risky behaviors among long-haul truckers: survey

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Morgantown, WV – Long-haul truck drivers face unrealistic deadlines that may contribute to risky behaviors and put them at greater risk of injury, according to a new survey from NIOSH.

The survey was conducted in 2010 at 32 truck stops across the United States, with 1,265 long-haul truck drivers participating.

Nearly 75 percent of drivers perceived their delivery schedules as too tight, which NIOSH said could be an incentive for them to be unsafe. Surveyed drivers reported “sometimes” or “often” taking the following risky behaviors:

  • Driving when tired, in poor weather conditions or in heavy traffic (47 percent sometimes, 25 percent often)
  • Violating hours-of-service rules (27 percent sometimes, 10 percent often)
  • Speeding (26 percent sometimes, 5 percent often)

More than one-third of all surveyed drivers have been involved in at least one crash during their career, 68 percent experienced non-crash injuries that they did not report and that resulted in days away from work, and close to 40 percent considered their entry-level training inadequate.

NIOSH recommends that employers ensure on-time delivery expectations do not lead to hours-of-service violations, educate drivers on safe behavior and ensure entry-level drivers receive training that meets their needs.

The survey results were published in the December issue of Accident Analysis & Prevention.

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