In a June 2020 study released by the USDOT, certain environmental work factors and life circumstances were identified as risk factors for a future large truck crash. Those factors include long work hours; pay, compensation, and benefits; traffic conditions; irregular breaks, tight delivery schedules, and lack of vehicle technology and safety devices; driver training; and driving experience. Job satisfaction was found to also impact crash risk indirectly through driver retention and decreased turnover. Safety policies and the culture within the workplace was also found to relate to crash risk in that they could influence driver behaviors that increase crash risk. For example, health programs initiated by carriers to address issues faced by drivers, including overweight conditions and obesity, hypertension, and Obstructive Sleep Apnea, have been show to decrease driver turnover, which is linked to crash risk.
In addition, situational factors and life events or experiences that cause stress, anxiety, depression, and other strong emotions have also been linked to an increase in crash risk. Job stress was highly predictive of future crashes and that financial stress has been shown to increase the likelihood of more serious crashes. In addition to stress, lower life satisfaction scores were associated with increased rates of crashes. Having a relationship partner was associated with fewer violations and lower crash risk. Studies have reported relationships between aggressive driving and having an emotional or professional setback and legal difficulties. Stress has also been associated with risky driving behaviors. A study of young drivers found that anxiety and depression were associated with risky driving behaviors, such as speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, and cell phone use while driving.
SOURCE: USDOT Study June 2020
The Girards Law Firm represents those injured or killed in 18-wheeler crashes