Trucker on-the-job fatalities hit 6-year high in 2014

Truck driver fatalities in 2014 hit their highest total in six years, according to new preliminary data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Overall, a preliminary total of 4,679 fatal work injuries were recorded in the United States last year, an increase of 2 percent over the revised count of 4,585 fatal work injuries in 2013.

In 2014, fatal work injuries due to transportation incidents were slightly higher from the year before and accounted for 40 percent of fatal workplace injuries (see slide 2, above). Within the transportation event category, roadway incidents constituted 57 percent of the fatal work injury total in 2014 (slide 3).

(BLS noted that roadway incident counts are expected to rise when updated 2014 data are released in the late spring of 2016 because key source documentation detailing specific transportation-related incidents has not yet been received.)

Transportation and material moving occupations accounted for the largest share (28%) of fatal occupational injuries of any occupation group. Fatal work injuries in this group rose 3 percent to 1,289 in 2014, the highest total since 2008, the report said. (Slide 4)

Drivers/sales workers and truck drivers (slide 1) accounted for nearly 2 out of every 3 fatal injuries in this group (835 of the 1,289 fatal injuries in 2014). In this group, drivers/sales workers increased 74 percent to 54, and heavy and tractor-trailer drivers had their highest total since 2008, with 725 fatalities in 2014.

Additionally, among contracted workers who were employed outside the construction and extraction occupation group, the largest number of fatal occupational injuries was incurred by heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, at 76. That’s not as high as the number of contracted day laborers killed on the job (108), but for comparison 48 electricians and 42 roofers suffered fatal accidents in 2014.

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