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Vehicle collisions are a top reason for work fatalities

Some jobs are more dangerous than others. Generally, professions such as construction, fishing, agriculture, warehousing, landscapers are considered high-risk, but the most common cause of on-job-fatalities is actually driving. This includes the millions of workers who drive long-haul semi-trucks, delivery vans, taxis, and company cars, but people tend to forget that many drive as part of their job but wouldn’t qualify as drivers. Examples include salespeople who visit clients, first responders, office administrators running errands and others. Motor vehicle crashes rank first or second in the cause of death in all major industries.

Looking at the statistics

In 2019, the most recent year with comprehensive data, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determined that 1,270 workers died while driving or riding in a vehicle. That number is 24% of all work-related deaths. The leading industries for motor vehicle deaths are:

  • Transportation and warehousing are 41% of the total.
  • Construction is 12%.
  • Wholesale and retail is 9%.
  • Waste management, remediation services and administrative support are tied with 7%.

There were also 577 deaths due to vehicles traveling on non-public roads. Three hundred and forty-one pedestrians also died on the job. Often they were truck drivers, construction or law enforcement.

Serious injuries also occur

Not every motor vehicle crash is deadly, but many are still quite severe. The most common injuries suffered are brain trauma, back injuries, broken bones, burns or internal injuries. After a long recovery, these workers are often left with life-changing injuries that make it impossible to return to their previous job and possibly any job.

What can victims and families do?

Those injured in a collision while working should immediately seek medical treatment. They should also notify their employer as soon as possible. These two important steps can help workers or their families file for worker’s compensation benefits or Social Security Disability benefits. Victims or family members unsure of what to do can speak with an attorney who handles worker’s compensation and Social Security claims. They can help guide victims and family members through the entire process so they can get the benefits or compensation they rightfully deserve.