Federal report lists trucking among most fatal occupations

February 2020

Tyson Fisher


Among all occupations in the U.S., driving a truck is one of the most dangerous, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ fatal occupational injuries report.

On Dec. 17, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released official numbers of occupational fatalities for 2018. Broadly speaking, driver/sales workers and truck drivers had the most fatalities compared with other groups with 966 deaths.

When narrowing down to more detailed occupations, heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers had the most fatalities at 831, according to the report.

Accounting for all occupations, transportation incidents were the most common event leading to an occupational death. With a 1% increase to 2,080 deaths, transportation-related incidents account for 40% of the 5,250 total work-related fatalities. Other fatal events include:

  • Violence and other injuries by persons or animals up 2.5% to 828 deaths.
  • Falls, slips and trips were down 11% to 791 deaths.
  • Contact with objects and equipment up 12% to 786 deaths.
  • Exposure to harmful substances or environments up 17% to 621 deaths.
  • Fire or explosion up 6.5% to 115 deaths.

Proportional to the number of employees, several occupations are more deadly than driving a truck. Per 100,000 full-time employees, the national average rate is 3.5 fatalities. However, the fatality rate for loggers is 97.6, followed by fishing workers (77.4), aircraft pilots and engineers (58.9) and roofers (51.5). The rate for truckers is 26. LL


Tyson Fisher

Tyson Fisher joined Land Line Magazine in March 2014. An award-winning journalist and tireless researcher, his news reports, features and blogs bring depth to our editorial content, backed with solid detail. Tyson is a lifelong Kansas Citian.