According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, truck drivers make up 2.4% of nationwide fatalities on the road. Truck driving is not only one of the country’s largest industries but also, one of the country’s most hazardous jobs. In this post, we will talk about the three best and worst states to drive as a trucker and why.
Top 3 WORST States for Trucking
With the national average of truck driver fatalities on the road being 2.4%, North Dakota alone has an astounding 8.8%! Most of it is attributed to the inclement weather experienced there. Brutal winters cause icy roads and whiteouts. Often times pulling over onto a shoulder is not even an option because they are not visible and covered in snow. Truckers can mistake ditches as shoulders and topple over or simply get stuck. Since the inclement weather often causes automobile accidents, traffic can crawl as slow as 20 miles per hour or just stop very suddenly. This is extremely dangerous considering large trucks already need a lot more stopping distance.
In terms of quality of life, Virginia come up short for truckers. Quality of life alludes to the average pay to cost of living. The average salary for a truck driver in Virginia is 18.18% less than the average per capita income within Virginia state with the lowest 10% of truck drivers earning around $32,000.
In terms of the number of fatalities on the road, truck drivers make up 6.7% in Wyoming which is higher than the national average. The mountainous landscape allows for winds so strong; it can blow trucks over causing many accidents. One of the main interstates, I-80, experience frequent closures because of snow, ice, and strong winds. Traffic could be backed up over a 10-mile stretch and could take as long as a few days for it to clear up leaving novice truck drivers stuck in their route.
Top 3 BEST States for Trucking
Indiana provides one of the top highest trucking wages with the average salary being around $70,000 and the lowest 10% making around $53,000. Truck drivers in Indiana make 12.71% more than the average per capita income of Indiana. There are also ample opportunities in trucking within the state.
Oklahoma is the top state to work in trucking. There are few regulations on the industry, practically no traffic, low gas prices, and wide open spaces meaning truckers can cover a lot of land with a lot less gas. It just so happens that there are a disproportionate number of trucking companies that are based there compared to everywhere else in USA.
Just like Oklahoma, Texas is one of the best states to work as a trucker because there’s low-regulation in the industry. Since it is such a large state, many businesses need services to ship their loads. Though there are a couple of high density cities that create severe traffic, the fuel is cheap compared to other states and there’s very few restrictions when pursuing this as a career. In 2016, Texas had the most people employed as truckers, so there are plenty of great opportunities as an owner-operator. In Texas, personal income are not taxed and the cost of living in most parts are really affordable.
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