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Big Rig Driving Makes List of California's 12 Deadliest Jobs

"A higher number of heavy-truck drivers die on the job than workers in any other occupation."

- The Sacramento Bee

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Driving big rigs is No. 3 on the list of California's 12 deadliest jobs, as the Sacramento Bee reports. Out of 12 occupations, truck driving falls behind just logging and aviation, with 295 fatalities throughout 2012-2016.

But part of what has many truck drivers up in arms over the latest safety regulations (see: electronic logging devices) is that many critics and lawmakers haven't walked a mile in a driver's shoes - or driven a few thousand miles.

Electronic logging devices make it harder for drivers to fudge their logbooks to show compliance with hours-of-service rules. These rules are meant to keep drivers fresh and awake while behind the wheel, but drivers don't all agree that these rules work as they should, or that drivers shouldn't be allowed a little "wiggle room" on compliance.

Be that as it may, the fact remains: As professional drivers with commercial driver's licenses, with rigs that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds fully loaded, drivers have a duty to ensure that they don't nod off while behind the wheel.

Two to three thousand miles is the rough weekly average number of miles a truck driver logs every week - an estimated 45,000 miles per year - and the goal is to get loads from Point A to Point B safely and on time.

No matter how you slice it, truck driving is a dangerous job. That's the root problem. Being on the road at all is inherently dangerous, whether chauffeuring the kids to soccer practice or negotiating heavy traffic on the morning commute. Sometimes an accident is an accident, but when everything goes well, the driver makes money and no one is hurt.

Read more:

Is it more dangerous to be a cop, a pilot or a logger? The 12 most deadly jobs in California

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