TruckingIndustry.news

When Truck Drivers Die on the Job

by Jana Ritter - Published: 12/01/2014

Last night, the body of a trucker was found inside his semitrailer at a convenience store in Columbus, Nebraska. The Columbus police had been looking for the driver after being contacted by the Platte County Sheriff's Office and told that he hadn't been heard from and was reported missing. The truck was found just after 10 p.m. in the store parking lot and after officers broke into the cab, they found found the truck driver deceased.

Dying on the Job

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While foul play isn’t suspected to be the cause of his death, the incident is a sad reminder about the huge number of commercial truck drivers that die on the job. In fact, each year about 1,000 truck drivers are killed in truck or transportation related accidents and nearly 20,000 are either injured or suffer medical emergencies. Even worse, is that it happens while they are one the road and often far away from their loved ones at home.

It’s not something that many people want to think about or plan for but thankfully one organization has. Truckersfinalmile.org is the largest known charity of it's kind, helping all North American truck drivers and their families deal with the unforeseen, unfortunate situations that occur on the road. Operating 24/7 from Albuquerque, New Mexico, the group is committed to reuniting North American truck drivers with their families in times of crisis and offer four unique programs:

Program 1 provides immediate air transportation, lodging, and ground transport to the next of kin should a truck driver perish while away from home for whatever reason. For example, if a Denver truck driver died in a crash in Atlanta, truckersfinalmile.org would confirm the incident within four hours and then make the necessary arrangements for the next of kin, as well as make arrangements for the driver’s remains to be transported home.

Program 2 offers the same travel needs for the next of kin but rather than the event of death, this is for any serious job related injury that happens to the Driver while on the road. Injuries could be anything from falling freight to an injury resulting from attempted robbery.

Program 3 provides the same service to the driver's family if the driver suffers a major medical episode away from the home. The incidents qualify as heart attack, stroke or any DOT disqualifying medical event.

Program 4 instead provides for the driver’s arrangements to get back home immediately should any of these incidents occur with their family members.

To find out more about their programs and policies go to www.truckersfinalmile.org

Is this something that you and your family have talked about and does the industry need to offer more help when these unforeseen circumstances occur?