America runs on long-haul trucks. Almost all of the goods and food items that pass through consumers’ hands and mouths at some point nestled deep in a semitruck’s cargo trailer.

Most of the men and women in the trucking industry are hardworking, dedicated drivers who struggle to meet impossible deadlines in often seriously inclement weather. But the risks they both pose and face are substantial.

For instance, in 2014, TIME magazine listed truck driving at No. 8 on their list of America’s “10 Most Dangerous Jobs.” Likewise, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported in 2012 that large trucks were involved in 300,000 accidents that caused more than 100,000 injuries.

Truckers must be especially safety-conscious due to the huge size of the big rigs they drive. Failing to slow for curves, during bad weather and while traveling through work zones can have tragic results.

Whether the driver is an independent trucker who owns his semitruck or is driving for a corporate fleet, he or she is ultimately responsible for the safety of the big rig. Truckers must make sure that regular maintenance tasks are performed and that the cargo is correctly loaded and secured.

It’s also vital that truck drivers maintain their own good health. That means eating nutritiously, getting proper rest, experiencing adequate “down time” and exercising.

Despite every good intention, some accidents are unavoidable. If you are injured in a collision caused by a big rig truck driver, you could wind up permanently disabled and unable to work. Your medical and rehabilitation bills will likely be $100,000 or more. You may even need lifelong assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs).

One option you have is to pursue financial recovery from the at-fault trucker through the Kentucky civil court system.

Source: Esurance, “Truck driving tips: 7 safety rules for a long haul,” accessed Nov. 03, 2017