Deadliest Catch can no longer claim that fishermen have the deadliest job in America. Preliminary 2014 numbers comparing on the job fatalities rank drivers, including truck drivers and drivers in the sales industry, rank outside sales drivers as having the highest death rate of U.S. workers. My husband is in outside sales and is on the road every day. So of course, I worry.
Texas Delivery Drivers have some of the Highest Fatality Rates in the Nation
Texas ranks the highest in the nation of the number of fatal work injuries by state, as per the projected 2015 numbers.
Given the amount of industry in the State together with the size and population, this is not a surprise. Workers should be able to expect a safe workplace. In fact, OSHA requires that workers be given a safe place to work.
But how does that apply to employees like my husband? Drivers in outside sales or making deliveries?
- First and foremost, they must be provided with a safe vehicle.
- Driver training on defensive driving.
- Enforcement of distracted driving policies.
- Provide them with an office for making calls and taking down information so this isn’t being done on the side of the road or while driving.
- Policies on driver rest and number of hours spend behind the wheel.
Some things, however, cannot be controlled, for example the conduct of other drivers on the road.
Reckless Driving can Cause Fatal Accidents
Roadway accidents account for the greatest percentage of on the job fatalities. Just as delivery drivers and outside salesmen should be attentive behind the wheel, other drivers should obey the rules of the road as well. These reckless acts can cause fatal highway crashes:
- Failing to obey traffic signals – running red lights
- Reckless driving
- Distracted driving, including texting, talking or watching videos while driving
- Failing to maintain the vehicle, for example, driving with worn brakes or without headlights
- Drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs
A short trip to the grocery store where you are mentally preparing your shopping list instead of focusing on the road can cost the life of a delivery driver. Please pay attention on the roads. Outside sales reps like my husband have families at home. No text, phone call, or funny cat video is more important that the life of another motorist.