Over 9 billion tons — that is how much freight is moved across the country each year, according to the American Trucking Associations. To get that much cargo picked up and delivered requires 3 million truck drivers. Simply put, without truckers, the nation comes to a grinding halt.
That’s why it might surprise you to find out that the states with the most work-related fatalities for trucks are also the states that are cutting benefits for those truckers’ families. This infographic from law firm Katherman Briggs & Greenberg takes a look at workers’ compensation benefits by state.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014 there were 3,356 reported deaths for this segment of the work industry. For that same year, ProPublica reported that 18 states cut workers’ compensation benefits in states where a transportation driver was the most common job.
The states that experienced the deepest cuts in workers’ compensation benefits were Texas, California, New York, Florida and Ohio. These are the same states that employ the most workers in the transportation industry.
Obviously, states can make the rationalization that cutting benefits across the board is their only way to make up for budget shortfalls. Balancing fiscal budgets for a state is a challenge, but is cutting benefits for workers who directly impact that state’s economy the best approach?