934 heavy truck and tractor-trailer drivers died on the job in 2022

Updated Dec 26, 2023
Tractor-trailer accident

Even with all it's aggravations -- lack of parking, strict regulations, bad behavior by other motorists, high fuel prices -- trucking remains for most drivers a rewarding and enjoyable way to make a living.

It's also a dangerous profession, and that's borne out by the latest statistics from federal government's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The bureau's Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries for 2022 shows the nation's transportation and warehousing industry had the most on-the-job fatalities of any category of workers. In 2022, 1,620 workers in what the bureau classifies as "transportation and material moving occupations" died. That's an 8% increase from 2021, when there were 1,523 fatalities.

In 2022, the number of fatalities for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers was 934 and for light truck drivers it was 95. 

Of that number of heavy truck and tractor-trailer driver fatalities:

  • 747 were from actual transportation incidents
  • 56 were from exposure to hazardous materials or environments
  • 29 were from violence and other injuries by persons or animals
  • 27 were from falls, slips or trips

In all, there were 5,486 fatal work injuries recorded in the U.S. in 2022, a 5.7-percent increase from 5,190 in 2021, according to the bureau's census. That equates to a worker death every 96 minutes, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Black and Hispanic workers saw the largest increase in workplace fatalities. The fatality rate for Black workers increased 12.4 percent, and the rate forHispanic workers grew by 10.4 percent.

“Today’s announcement by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of a 5.7 percent increase in fatal occupational injuries is a sobering reminder of the important work we must do, especially for Black and Hispanic workers who saw the largest increase in workplace fatalities," said the Department of Labor’s Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker. “Every worker death has profound impacts on family, friends, co-workers and communities. That is why investing in worker safety and health must be a core value in every workplace across the country. All workers have a right to do their job without fear of being injured or sickened.”