The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recently launched a special unit to help reduce fatal accidents among workers who operate motor vehicles. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of work-related fatalities in the U.S.
The new Center for Motor Vehicle Safety and will focus on truck drivers and others who may be at risk of motor vehicle accidents.
The center will also seek to prevent work accidents involving workers in the oil and gas extraction industry, emergency response workers, law enforcement officers and highway construction workers. These workers do not necessarily operate motor vehicles as part of their daily jobs, but they may be at a high risk of accidents. For instance, highway construction workers face danger from vehicles that speed through work zones.
The center plans to soon conduct an ambitious survey of long-haul truckers and to work with truck manufacturers to improve the design of cabs to reduce injuries to truckers during accidents.
The center also is currently engaged in serving taxi drivers as well as law enforcement officers and is collaborating with other federal agencies to develop a database of worker demographics and accident risk factors. The plan is to come up with more effective strategies to help protect workers from occupational motor vehicle accidents.