Long-haul trucking is a dangerous job, accounting for 10 percent of fatal crashes in the U.S. in 2019, according to a recent commentary in the New York Times. The piece, which described tractor trailers as “40 tons of death,” detailed the challenging work conditions and other reasons why truckers put themselves and other drivers at risk.
The average trucker drives in excess of 60 hours per week, and many drive 100 hours or more. They are paid by the mile and not by the hour, which means they could be sitting at loading docks for hours, unpaid, while waiting for a receiver to unload. As a result, drivers are fatigued.
Truck drivers remain in one position for hours on end, pressing a pedal on the floor. They must maintain a constant focus on the road and surroundings. They might sleep in freezing temperatures because their truck’s computer system has an engine safety shutoff for the night.
According to the article, trucking used to be a coveted job with normal hours, good pay, benefits and union representation, but in recent years is plagued by turnover due to poor working conditions, limited flexibility and time off, and low pay.
Fatigue, stress and inexperience can cause accidents. If you were involved in an accident where you believe the other driver was at fault, you may need an attorney experienced in litigating truck accident cases. Please reach out to us if you would like to discuss the details.