The transportation industry is a vital component of the U.S. economy. Without transportation, manufacturers could not move their products through the supply chain. The industry encompasses a variety of transit methods such as air, rail, truck, and water transportation. For-hire transportation contributed 3 percent to U.S. GDP while in-house transportation contributes an additional 0.9 percent to the GDP in 2017. [1]

Although the transportation sector includes air, rail, and water transportation, most transportation accidents involve large or commercial vehicles in the trucking industry. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that transportation accidents account for 31.9 percent of the accidental deaths reported in 2010.[2] Moreover, most of the accidents occurred on interstates and fatalities often involved passengers in other vehicles. This not only causes a loss of labor, but it also increases liability costs for the company as a whole. 

Most large truck accidents involve the driver’s delayed performance due to long work hours and fatigue. Currently, trucking companies are facing a crisis of driver shortages, and keeping up with the country’s demands for freight services is proving to be more difficult every year.[3] Attracting new drivers to the industry and keeping them safe is vital to the economy in the U.S. 

Transportation Industry Safety Risks

Vehicle operators face a number of challenges in today’s transportation industry. The transportation business is responsible for fleet safety and efficiency in order to keep the supply chain moving. Here are some common issues that can pose hazards to driver safety.

  • Distracted Driving—Distracted drivers are nearly three times more likely to be involved in a collision.[4] Operating big rigs and other complex vehicles already require the driver to multitask. Taking calls or any other distraction can lead to deadly circumstances. 

  • Fatigue—Reaction times, awareness, and decision-making abilities fall by as much as 50 percent when someone is sleep-deprived.[5]
  • Slips and falls—Falling accidents are more prevalent in the winter or during inclement weather. But, falls and slips can occur at any time of the year. 
  • Lack of vehicle inspections—Not conducting regular vehicle walkarounds can lead to essential issues going unnoticed.
  • Driver shortages—Veteran drivers are spending more time on the road in order to keep up with demand. This can lead to fatigue. 
  • Changing conditions—Failure to recognize changing environmental and road conditions lead to a slow response time that can result in an accident. 
  • Cyber Attacks—As technological advancements become part of automation and route planning, there’s more opportunity for hackers to disrupt the supply chain.

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Preventing Injuries

Transportation businesses who want to keep their drivers safe and reduce time lost due to accidents and injuries have an opportunity to make a significant difference. Most injuries can be prevented with common sense practices, investment in training, and providing the employee with proper safety products. As with any business, implementing a safety program is the first step in keeping your employees safe and your business profitable. 

The safety plan should include:

  • Risk Assessment—Identify the main risk factors that are causing your business the most in time and money with injury claims.
  • Eliminate distractions–Establish a policy that prohibits the use of cell phones or other distractions while operating a vehicle.
  • Reduce fatigue—Enforce reasonable work-hour limits and be aware of hours-of-service regulations.
  • Regular vehicle inspections—Create a maintenance inspection checklist and ensure it is completed regularly.
  • Establish safe procedures for loading and unloading—Ensure employees completely secure the cargo before leaving the site, and require that drivers check for shifting before unloading.
  • Minimize risk of slips and falls—Invest in equipment that will aid in reducing slips and falls as the driver enters in and out of the vehicle. 
  • Secure Software—Invest in security software that will prevent cyber breaches. 

A transportation safety plan will help minimize hazards and reduce the potential for injuries in the transportation business. The appropriate safety equipment will not only keep employees safe but also help reduce business loss due to injury. 

Top Products For The Transportation Industry


D.O.T. Safety Cans

Unsafe transport of fuel is a great risk in the transportation business, as it could cause a fire or explosion. The Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) requires fuel to be transported in a D.O.T approved fuel can. These cans have hold-down brackets to prevent accidental spillage during transport, as well as a rugged handle drop protection to prevent damaging the spout and trigger mechanism. Industries affected by D.O.T regulations include:

  • Landscaping contractors transport fuel for lawnmowers, chainsaws and other equipment
  • Construction crews transport fuel for excavation and construction equipment
  • Mining operations cover large areas, so vehicles transport fuel and equipment
  • Tow truck operations transport fuel to vehicles that are stranded or out of gas

Absorbent Spill Kits

In efforts to mitigate transportation safety risks, many highway departments have made it mandatory for official vehicles to carry a spill kit. Truck drivers are held responsible for spilled oil, fuel and fluids. Having a spill kit handy speeds up the process for containment and cleanup.

Flexible Spill Containment

Good transportation safety management incorporates a plan for all spill possibilities, including a ruptured fuel tank. Spilling gallons of fuel onto the highway is a major environmental concern. Flexible spill containment able to withstand a broad range or chemicals better prepares transportation companies in the event of an emergency spill disaster.

Countertop Safety Cabinet

Commercial-grade service vehicles like utility trucks are required to store flammable liquids and aerosols by appropriate methods. Small safety cabinets secured by brackets are commonly used to prevent aerosols and other flammable liquids from rolling around in the bed of a truck

Safety Chest

Freight transportation safety and security is a top concern in the transportation industry. A safety chest is a good example of a product that meets both criteria. Bolting these heavy chests to be bolted to service trucks ensures tools, valuables and flammables are safe and secured.

Transportation Industry Statistics

There are 91,679 competitors in the transportation industry. Justrite’s transportation safety equipment will make you a leader in safety, workplace protections, and environmental care.[6]

Injury Risks In the Transportation Business

There are 4.5 injuries per 100 employees each year in the transportation industry. Slightly more than 2 percent of your employees will take time off work as a result, and 1.2 percent will need to transfer to a new job or restrict their tasks.[7]

Transportation is a high-risk occupation. In 2018 there were 2,080 deaths, accounting for 40 percent of all work-related fatalities. Truck driving is the most dangerous job in the industry. In 2018 there were 831 heavy and tractor-trailer driver fatalities.[8]

Stay OSHA Compliant

In the transportation industry, there are roughly 323 inspections each year. The industry spends $4,208,658 in penalties, amounting to $13,030 in penalties for each inspection. Stay OSHA compliant to reduce injuries and fatalities, keep penalties low, and your reputation intact.[6]

Contain and Manage Your Environmental Waste

The transportation industry (not including pipeline transportation or support activities) generates 16,459 tons of waste each year. Keep your waste safely, ethically, and compliantly contained and managed with Justrite equipment.[9]