The Trucking Industry Is Hiding a Big Problem
Every day, thousands of truckers get behind the wheel of their 80,000-pound tractor-trailers completely exhausted—and it's putting the rest of us at risk. The root problem isn't that drivers are overworked; the problem is that companies have created an industry where drivers are forced to haul freight without sleeping in order to make ends meet. It all begins with pay-per-mile. Pay-per-mile arrangements are standard with new drivers (although veteran drivers swear against them), paying them only for the miles they make every day.
However, this leaves them unpaid for the vital non-driving work long-haul truckers have to do. As a result, there are days where drivers actually spend more than they make—making them even more desperate to drive long hours the next day. It's a vicious cycle that's put a high number of drivers at risk for deadly collisions.
- Driving to pick up new loads
- Planning routes
- Abiding by federally-mandated rest breaks
- Waiting for loading/unloading
- Submitting to rig inspections
Instead of offering drivers better pay, companies encourage them to defy federal regulations—teaching them how to keep two logbooks to appear compliant, telling them that federal safety rules are the enemy, not their own employers. The culture of "hard-driving" has led some drivers to go 24-48 hours without sleep—a practice with deadly consequences.
Tired Truckers Are Putting Us at Risk
Experts estimate that 1 in 7 trucking crashes are directly caused by fatigue. That figure is likely underreported, as the vast majority of drivers are not going to notice or report how their tiredness affected their driving. However, it does affect their driving—sleep debt researchers believe that even moderate tiredness impairs our ability to drive as much as having a drink does.
Data from the FMCSA shows that 1 in 4 trucking fatalities occurred when the trucker was on their 17th hour of driving or more. The long-haul lifestyle might sound like a good deal to new hires, but in the end, truckers are likely to get someone else (or themselves) killed while working for pay-by-mile paychecks. Of the thousands of trucking fatalities every year, around 700 are truckers themselves.
How to Hold Trucking Companies Accountable
The only way to force trucking companies to change their ways is to hurt them where it counts: the bottom line. If everyone who ever got hurt in a truck accident held companies responsible for their part, there would be fewer truck accidents—it's as simple as that. Our Covenant Transport accident lawyers have held all kinds of carriers, shippers, and driving companies accountable for the damage their policies cause.
Arnold & Itkin has won billions of dollars for our clients, helping them afford medical care, replace their incomes, and provide for their families. In cases of wrongful death, our firm has helped families seek justice for the loss of their loved one in a court of law—allowing them to face the people who caused their pain. When trucking companies like Covenant Transport get into an accident, they immediately get into cover-up mode. They hire investigators, lawyers, and adjusters to collect all the evidence in their favor while ignoring the evidence that would help your case. Their job isn't to be fair—it's to weaken your case while you're focused on healing. Our job is to make it fair—we hire the same experts and resources to ensure that your story is told and your case is made. That's how we've won before, and that's how we'll fight to win for you.
There's nothing more vital than securing your future—review your options with a Covenant Transport truck accident lawyer by calling (888) 493-1629 or with our online form.