On-The-Job Drivers: Higher Chance of Death if Over 55

man driving a car

With the economy as crazy as it’s been over the last decade, it’s no surprise to hear that people are working after the age of retirement. Sometimes, retirement just isn’t possible if you don’t have enough money in the bank to survive without a monthly paycheck.

And this is fine, apparently, if you’re only driving paperwork around a desk. If you’re physically out on the road for work, and over 55, you could be “retiring” in a way you never imagined.

Of course, if you drive more, the likelihood of an accident increases. Therefore all people who drive as part of their job will have a higher risk of being in a highway accident. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) published a study today that outlines how employees who drive for work and are between the ages of 55 and 64 are about 50 percent more likely to die in an accident than those younger. And if you’re 65 and over? That percentage raises to 75 percent. If you thought “workplace deaths” only happened at the office or factory, you’d be wrong—out on the road is where you’ll find the leading cause of workplace deaths in the United States.

The CDCP’s cheerfully titled “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report” points to the declining cognition and greater susceptibility to injury of people over 55 as the reason that they are more likely than their younger colleagues to die in these accidents. If you’re male, you’re almost 90 percent more likely than a woman to be one of these statistics, and 80 percent more likely if you’re white than any other race—combined. So it sounds like if you’re a white male over 55, find a desk job.

Don’t assume that these are all truck drivers and pizza delivery people, either. This includes people driving from workplace to workplace, and includes construction workers, leisure and hospitality workers, salespeople, heath-industry workers and city maintenance crews, just to name a few. An interesting point to note is that this study does not include any statistics for people commuting from home to work and back again.

The study also worryingly states that the size of the over-55 U.S. workforce will be 41 million people, or 25.2 percent of the workforce, in 2020 versus 15 million/11.9 percent in 1990, this problem is definitely going to increase. Another point that the study makes is that although the U.S. Department of Transportation has regulations for drivers of large trucks, buses and other vehicles that address many risk factors that would reduce these statistics, they are not looking at other factors. The fact that occupational drivers commonly use lighter-weight vehicles, or their personal cars or pickup trucks means that safety regulations for these folks have been largely overlooked.

Although the study states that the “prevention of work-related motor vehicle crashes is a shared responsibility between employers and workers,and both groups should take an active role in developing and implementing prevention strategies,” it seems that nothing is in place to address this clearly growing problem.

We would like to point out that if you are out on the job driving around and under 55, this study should not make you feel like you can drive like a maniac! Let’s all be safe out there—as we know, many people, including passengers and pedestrians, can be injured or killed in highway accidents. We all have a responsibility to be safe behind the wheel. Driving is a privilege, and should be respected as such!

If you want to make sure that your auto insurance policy covers everything, and we mean if you hit someone AND if someone hits you, please give us a call. We love reviewing all kinds of insurance policies to make sure you’re covered for all your needs. And we do it absolutely free! Call BMR Insurance Agency now—we’re still in the same place we’ve been for over 30 years, serving Tustin and Orange County drivers, homeowners, renters. business owners and more. (714) 838-1911

 

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