One of the most dangerous occupations is driving big rigs. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the average fatality rate across all professions nationwide, including Arizona, is 3.5 deaths for every 10,000 workers. However, when trucker fatalities are separated from the rest, an analysis shows that 26.8 of every 10,000 commercial vehicle operators die in truck driving accidents.
Authorities identified several safety issues that feature in many big rig crashes, and those that top the list are the lack of adequate training, fatigue and impairment by drugs and alcohol. A spokesperson for the National Transportation Institute says a significant percentage of truckers who apply for jobs fail their drug tests. While many impaired drivers die in wrecks, large numbers of overdose deaths happen among commercial truck drivers.
Other authorities say speeding, distractions and the failure to use seat belts feature in many big-rig driver fatalities. Drowsy driving and fatigue are often blamed on the hours-of-service regulations, and many drivers race the clock to get as many miles as possible done per driving shift. Others blame the lack of safe truck stops or rest areas, and the number of crashes that occur within 20 miles from rest areas justifies this claim.
Arizona families who have lost loved ones in work-related truck driving accidents might be eligible for survivors' benefits. An attorney who has experience in dealing with the state-regulated workers' compensation system can assist with navigation of a benefits claim. Compensation typically covers the cost of a funeral and burial along with a financial package to make up for lost wages and help with day-to-day living expenses.