Driving Is Dangerous -- Especially If It's Part Of Your Job

August 22, 2012

When we think about dangerous jobs, we often think of firefighting, law enforcement, construction -- jobs that can be physically demanding. But in fact, new data suggests that driving is one of the deadliest occupations, claiming more lives each year than most of the others combined.

That data comes from eTraining, which cobbled together data from the Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to paint a picture of workplace safety across multiple industries. 

When you look at fatality rates, the most dangerous jobs are, in fact, the ones you might expect. Fishing, for example, has the dubious distinction of being the deadliest job in America, with with 116 deaths per 100,000 employees. Loggers and aircraft pilots/engineers come in next, at rates of 91.9 and 70.6. In fact, people who drive for a living -- people like big-rig drivers and delivery personnel -- don't appear on the chart until #8, with 21.8 deaths per 100,000.

But of course, that's because there are many more people who work as drivers than fishermen, which brings down the fatality rate. In terms of raw numbers, though, driving is far and away the deadliest job in America, with 683 deaths recorded in 2010 alone. The second-most dangerous was farming, which saw 300 deaths that same year.

Other important takeaways from the infographic:

  • Texas saw more workplace fatalities in 2010 than any other state: 456. California came in second, at 302.
  • Fatality rates have dropped dramatically as funding for OSHA has increased. In 1994, a total of 6,632 Americans died on the job, when OSHA's budget was less than $300 million. By 2010, the number of deaths had dropped to 4,547, with OSHA's funding sitting closer to $558 million. 
  • Men are much more likely to die on the job than women. In fact, 92% of the fatalities recorded in 2010 were men.
  • Seniors are far more prone to die on the job than their younger co-workers. Workers over 65 are over five times more likely to die at work than someone between 20 and 24 years old.



If you have time this Wednesday, take a look at the data, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

[via FastCompany]

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