08/15/2011

Improved Safety for Truck Drivers: Designing Safer Cabs Based on Driver Body Dimensions

Truck driving can be a hazardous occupation. According to the Bureau of Labor
Statistics, in 2009 truck drivers experienced 16.8% of all
transportation-related fatalities and 2.04% of the nonfatal injuries requiring
days away from work, even though they only made up 1.0% of the U.S. workforce.

Truck drivers spend long hours behind the wheel, working an average of 41.5
hours per week. Therefore, a well-designed truck cab can make a significant
difference in the working conditions for a truck driver. Truck cab design
impacts comfort, but more importantly impacts the safety of truck drivers and
other road users. For example, if the design of the truck cab is poorly fitted
to the size and dimensions of the driver, the road may be less visible, driving
controls may be more difficult to reach, and seatbelts may be less comfortable
and less likely to be used - all of which increase the risk of injury to the
driver and other road users.



Truck manufacturers consider the body dimensions of truck drivers as they
design truck cabs. However, until recently the most current body measurement
data for truck drivers dated from the early 1980s. The composition of the
trucker workforce has changed dramatically in the past 30 years, with an
increase in the diversity of ethnic groups and the percentage of women working
in this profession. As the truck manufacturing industry moves forward to design
the next generation of truck cabs, there is a pressing need for up-to-date
information on the body dimensions of U.S. truck drivers.

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AplusA-online.de - Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)