While many employees are working from home at this time, there are some who simply cannot perform their work from their living room. Indeed, employees like truck drivers have to keep going to work, and some employees are even working more hours in order to meet consumer demands in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Truck drivers rarely get a break from work and are already tasked with driving long hours; now, there is even less downtime. Consider these unique safety concerns and risks that truck drivers are facing during the coronavirus crisis:
Increased Risks and Safety Concerns of Truck Drivers During COVID-19
Driving a truck is already a dangerous and exhausting job. During the coronavirus, the closure of rest areas and restaurants, fear of catching the disease, and a lack of drivers have put truck drivers at an increased risk.
- Fewer stopping areas available. Many restaurants, convenience stores, and gas stations along truck drivers’ normal routes have closed as a result of the coronavirus and stay-at-home orders and suggested practices. This means that there are fewer places for truck drivers to stop on their routes, leading to longer hours behind the wheel without respite. This can increase the risk of fatigue-related driving accidents.
- Exposure to coronavirus when stopping for gas, food, or the restroom. Another serious risk that truck drivers have to face right now is the risk of contracting the coronavirus when making a necessary stop for gas, food, or to use the restroom. The risk of contracting the virus is stressful for drivers, and may prevent them from stopping or resting for as long or frequent as is recommended.
- Direct interaction with shippers and receivers. Truck drivers are responsible for carrying goods from one place to another. This means that the trucks must be loaded and unloaded, sometimes multiple times on a single route. Truck drivers are at risk of contracting the virus during interactions with shippers and receivers.
- Limited truck drivers. Finally, the coronavirus has resulted in some truck drivers choosing to stay at home or being forced to stay at home due to contracting the virus or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Fewer truck drivers means that those truck drivers who are still working may be putting in longer hours and driving longer distances, increasing the risk of a collision.
Workers’ Compensation for Truck Drivers During Coronavirus
At the office of the Rooth Law Firm, P.A., our experienced workers’ compensation attorney understands the pressure that truck drivers are facing right now, and urges you to be as safe as you can if you are a truck driver. Rest as much as necessary, pack plenty of food to minimize the number of times you need to stop and the interactions with other people that you have, and wear personal protective equipment if participating in unloading or loading of cargo with others. If you are injured on the job, whether as a result of an accident or because you contract COVID-19, please call us immediately for a consultation about your right to workers’ compensation benefits. Our law firm is here to serve you.