We hate to admit it, but we still have a few more months left of wintry weather.
The winter months bring not only freezing temperatures but also hazardous conditions that can affect any driver behind the wheel. The Federal Highway Administration reports that over 70% of roads in the United States are located in snowy regions and that these roads average five or more inches of snowfall annually. While winter weather increases the risk for all who drive a motor vehicle, it is especially challenging for commercial drivers. The retail truck industry is essential to our economy, moving 71% of all freight within our country and providing nearly 6% of all full-time jobs.
According to the National Safety Council, the leading cause of injury in the workplace is motor vehicle accidents, which, as you can imagine, is especially true in the commercial driving industry. The most common causes of injury for commercial drivers include loading/unloading freight, performing roadside repairs on the vehicle, and slipping or falling falls when entering and exiting the truck.
To improve their safety on the road and better avoid the risks of becoming a worker’s compensation case this winter, it’s important all commercial drivers:
- Make sure the vehicle inspection is up to date: To avoid unexpected issues on the wintry roads, confirm that the vehicle’s inspection is up to date. Additionally, when making long trips, be aware of your vehicle by periodically checking the load and when parked at rest stops look for air leaks in the tires, and any oil that may have dripped.
- Plan trip in advance: Recommendations for all drivers is to prepare for a long journey. Planning a trip can include checking the weather and the planned route to be aware of the necessary precautions. When in doubt, if the weather is terrible, pullover, or find a resting area to eliminate any risks. Treacherous weather, such as rain, sleet, snow, or ice, can prolong the trip and, most importantly, be dangerous to the worker driving.
- Research delivery locations: Paying attention to the surroundings when driving is typical, but some commercial drivers do not think of the delivery area once they reach the destination. When delivering or unloading packages, drivers fail to consider possible obstacles on the path, and parking and docking availability for the vehicle. During the winter months, this is extremely dangerous due to the precipitation that can hide objects (fire hydrants, posts, potholes) that can damage tires on the vehicle or be unseen when reversing the vehicle.
For additional tips, visit www.Smart-Trucking.com.
While injuries at work are not expected, they do happen and are especially common for commercial drivers during the winter months. If injured on the job this winter, it’s important to contact a professional law firms that specialize in worker’s compensation immediately, to ensure you are well prepared and know the next steps to filing a claim. Connors & Ferris takes pride in solely being committed to practicing in New York State Workers’ Compensation and providing compassionate service to injured workers. For additional information or to get help now, fill out our contact form: http://connorsandferris.com/get-help-now.