To some people, driving trucks for a living sounds easy. And, to those people, I’m here to tell you that you’re wrong.
Injuries can occur to truck drivers more far more than you may think. Some of which can be very serious. This is why you should always take the proper procedures when driving trucks in order to prevent these injuries from occurring.
But what are these injuries? How can we avoid them?
Lucky for you, we’re going to run through the most common trucking injuries. We’re also going to highlight how they occur and how to avoid them.
Back and Knee Pain.
Back pain is one of the most common injuries a truck driver can suffer from. Unfortunately, this can occur in several different ways. However, the main ways include lifting goods, climbing out of your cab, and even sitting!
But how exactly can sitting down cause back pain?
Sitting with a bad posture can increase your chances of back pain. Slouching or hunching over the wheel will likely result in straining disks in your spine. These are the cushion-like parts of your spine that protect the bones known as vertebrae from rubbing together. Of course, if you do strain these, it can lead to serious back pain. Slouching and hunching can also cause herniated disks, sciatica and more.
Another way you may end up causing pain in your back is from transporting goods by hand the wrong way.
From time to time, you may be required to transport goods from your truck to the recipient by hand. When doing this, you must ensure you lift and carry all goods in an appropriate way. Lifting with your back can result in serious injury, whilst lifting unstable or heavy goods can result in injuries in your knees. Even if lifted correctly.
So, how can we avoid these types of injuries and pain?
Well, there’s no full-proof way of protecting against these injuries. However, there are procedures you can take in order to increase your chances of avoiding them.
First, try to correct your posture as often as you can. We understand that when sitting in a cab for hours at a time, you may not think much about your posture. So, try leaving yourself a note somewhere on your dashboard as a reminder.
Second, ensure proper safety procedures are always followed, including when lifting and carrying goods. As we said, this won’t guarantee you never encounter an injury, but it’ll increase your chances of avoiding them.
Third, consider taking appropriate supports with you when on the road. Both knee and back supports can be purchased online and won’t break the bank. These will better protect you against and aches or pains whilst working.
Cuts and Lacerations.
This type of injury is one that not many people associate with truck driving. However, it’s one that should be considered none the less.
When handling goods, there will sometimes be sharp edges or containers damaged in transit. Not paying attention to these can result in various painful outcomes, including cuts and lacerations. So, the best thing to do is ensure you carry the correct equipment to handle such goods. An appropriate pair of gloves will never go amiss, and will often help you to avoid any cuts to your hands and wrists.
For a full list of all things a driver should carry in your cab, click here.
Missteps and Falling.
There’s nothing more embarrassing than falling out of your cab in front of your fellow drivers. What’s worse, doing this can cause injuries more serious than you might think.
Most cabs will have steps up to the doors. Our advice to avoid unnecessary injury is simple – use them.
It can be tempting to take a small jump from the cab to the ground when you’re off the road and want to stretch your legs. However, it only takes one awkward landing to result in a bruised or broken bone. After all, you’re likely to be jumping onto a hard surface after not moving your legs too much for several hours. Avoid the pain and hassle of a broken toe or ankle by using the steps to get out of your cab.
However, you should also take extra care when getting into your cab too. It only takes a small lack of concentration to miss the step and cause yourself injury.
To avoid putting yourself at risk and lower the chance of suffering these injuries, take a second to make sure you’re exiting your vehicle safely. If it’s raining, make sure you take extra care. Also, ensure you’re aware of any trip hazards in depots, garages, and delivery centres.
This is the big one. The one that I’m sure most of you reading these expected to be at the top of the list.
Traffic collisions involving trucks are nothing new. And as such, we don’t feel we need to get into the details of what these types of accidents are and what injuries they include. However, we will highlight a few ways you can help protect yourself and avoid any unnecessary collisions.
Drive as safely and properly as you can. People react differently when they’re alongside a truck going at speed. Some will choose to slow down to avoid you, and some will choose to speed up to pass you. It’s unpredictable. The only thing you can do to be sure is to make sure you do everything you can to drive properly and safely. Follow the proper procedure when you change lanes. Obey the speed limit. Simple things like this will put yourself at a much lower risk of injuring yourself or those around you.
Second, to avoid unnecessary injury, you should make sure you’re well-rested and only drive when permitted. Driving appropriate routes and during your allocated hours will massively reduce the risk of distractions such as fatigue, which can result in accidents and injuries.
Last, to protect yourself if you are ever involved in a traffic collision, make sure you have a dash cam installed and active whenever you’re driving. These may not stop you from getting physically injured, but they just might save your skin if the collision was someone else’s fault.