With the popularity of two-day shipping, commercial drivers are in high demand nowadays. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 3.5 million Americans work as truck drivers. Whether you drive short routes or long-haul treks, you must prioritize your safety every time you climb behind the wheel. After all, an on-the-job injury may leave you with life-altering complications.
Truck drivers face a variety of risks every time they go to work. While a collision with another vehicle or a stationary object may put your health at risk, a traumatic event is not necessary for a serious injury. On the contrary, repeatedly making the same motions may result in substantial skeletal, muscular or nerve damage. Therefore, if you drive a truck for a living, you must know about repetitive stress injuries.
The nature of trucking
Truck driving is not easy. To do your job effectively, you may sit in the same position for hours on end. You likely also face strict deadlines. Of course, to drive effectively, you must perform the same motions over and over again:
- Turning your head to one side
- Moving your hands to signal
- Stepping with the same leg into your rig
- Reaching for the radio
Repetitive stress injuries
Repetitive stress injuries can cause pain, numbness, tingling, loss of motion and muscular weakness. While certain injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, are common with office workers, truckers may also be at risk. Unfortunately, treating these injuries is not always simple or straightforward. Often, individuals require surgery and extensive rehabilitation. Even then, there is no guarantee that a trucker with a repetitive stress injury will recover completely.
If you are a commercial truck driver, you play an invaluable role in modern society. Nevertheless, the nature of your job may increase your risk of developing a repetitive stress injury. Fortunately, if you sustain one at work, you are probably eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.