Highway safety is number one for transportation workers

Highway accidents are the leading cause of job-related deaths in America, accounting for 22 percent of fatal work injuries in 2009, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Transportation workers are among the most vulnerable employees when it comes to this risk and should take special care to follow basic highway safety practices.

The most common-sense tips are life-saving guidelines, so everything you've ever heard (repeatedly) about buckling your seat belt, not playing your music too loudly, and eliminating all other distractions goes double if you're on the job. It goes without saying that no one should be intoxicated while behind the wheel.

Beyond the factors you can control, there are millions of variables that can interfere with a safe drive, especially those of the long distance variety. The sole defense truck drivers have against the unpredictability of the road is the ability to react quickly and effectively, so get plenty of rest before you drive and pull over to take a break if you're starting to feel sleepy.

Transportation workers driving long distances cross-country or across multiple states benefit from having safety equipment on hand. It's always a good idea to have a first aid kit in the glove compartment or in another area that can be easily accessed by the driver of the vehicle.

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