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Motor vehicle crashes cause most work-related deaths and injuries

Jul 13, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

Millions of workers across the United States drive or ride in a vehicle as part of their job duties every day, and motor vehicle crashes cause the most work-related deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

All these workers are at risk, regardless of whether they travel in heavy vehicles, such as semi trucks or lighter vehicles, including delivery vans and passenger cars. Between 2003 and 2018, the CDC says more than 29,000 U.S. workers died in crashes, and millions more suffered permanent nonfatal injuries.

No industries are immune to vehicle crashes

The CDC says motor vehicle crashes remain the first or second leading cause of death and debilitating injuries in every major industry in the U.S. The agency’s most recent statistics from 2018 show one out of every four work-related deaths resulted from a crash. Of the 1,276 fatalities that year, the industries with the largest shares were:

  • Transportation and warehousing: 38%
  • Construction: 12%
  • Wholesale and retail trade: 9%
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting: 7%

The highest number of these deaths involved the following types of vehicles:

  • Semi trucks and tanker trucks: 38%
  • Pickup trucks: 17%
  • Delivery vans and trucks: 9%
  • Automobiles: 7%

Crashes often result in long-term devastating injuries

The CDC says six million crashes happen in the U.S. each year, resulting in two million drivers or passengers experiencing permanent injuries. The agency says work-related crashes cost employers about $25 billion each year.

The average cost for a fatality is $671,000, while nonfatal injuries cost roughly $65,000 per incident. In addition to the costs for employers, workers often suffer the most by experiencing short-term or long-term physical, emotional and financial hardships.

That’s why it’s advisable if you are injured on the job to contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer will help ensure that you receive the benefits you deserve to recover medical costs and lost wages and allow you to focus on your recovery.

In addition, accident victims can file a personal injury claim in cases when negligent or careless drivers or companies cause an accident. Families may also consider filing a wrongful death claim if a loved one dies due to the negligence of others.