Why work injuries could force semi-truck drivers off the job

On Behalf of | Jul 17, 2023 | Workplace Injuries

Working as a professional driver is a very demanding career. Those with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) may spend far more than the standard eight-hour workday at the wheel. They also typically have to perform several secondary job responsibilities other than driving that can increase the strain on their bodies generated by their employment.

Workplace injuries could very easily leave a semi-truck driver unable to continue working, either permanently in some cases or at least until their symptoms subside for others. How might an injury incurred on the job force a truck driver to change professions or take an extended leave of absence?

They may not be able to perform their job functions

The most common reason for a work injury to force a truck driver to take time off is that they can no longer safely and fully perform their job responsibilities. A truck driver with a hand injury won’t be able to grip the steering wheel, and those coping with a back injury might find it very difficult to load a trailer or remain seated for an entire shift. The type of injury that a truck driver suffers will have a major influence on whether or not they can continue performing their job.

Roughly 41% of non-fatal injuries reported by truck drivers relate to bodily reaction and overexertion. Contact with equipment and slips/falls were also major concerns. Collisions were actually only responsible for about 13% of truck driver injuries. In any scenario in which a truck driver could not confidently and safely continue operating a semi-truck, they may need to take a leave of absence until their symptoms subside.

Workers’ compensation can help truck drivers

While many commercial drivers working out of Pennsylvania may have health coverage available as a benefit of their employment and also paid time off (PTO) banked with their employer, they should not have to rely on those job benefits to handle the consequences of a work injury. Workers’ compensation can provide more comprehensive medical coverage than most health insurance policies. It will also allow someone to retain their accrued PTO benefits for future use by providing them with partial wage replacement in the form of disability benefits.

Commercial drivers who can no longer safely perform their jobs may need to pursue compensation so that they can get the support they require and protect their current position with their employer. Recognizing that even a seemingly sedentary job will not be easy to perform after a workplace injury might help someone overcome their pride and seek the support that they require to better ensure a full recovery.