Why Trucking Companies Are Making America's Highways Unsafe
According to FMCSA data, 1 in 4 trucking crashes happened when a driver was working for 17 hours or longer. At least 1 in 7 commercial truck crashes are directly caused by fatigue, and experts think that number is too low—most truckers don't admit that they're tired during an accident investigation. It's for good reason too: sleep researchers believe that even moderate tiredness can affect our driving as much as having a drink does. Lack of sleep is a nationwide epidemic, but in the case of truck drivers, the lack of sleep is harming other motorists too.
Why are truck drivers getting behind the wheel of their 80,000-pound machines while dangerously tired? A large part of the problem is trucking company policies. See, most new truckers are paid by the mile—meaning their sole avenue of making money is "making their miles." These policies deliberately create a culture of "hard-driving," where drivers push themselves to haul for longer hours while minimizing sleep.
Trucking Company Policies Are the Problem
The problem is that most drivers have to spend a great deal of time doing vital non-driving work. Combined with traffic, unexpected repairs, or bad weather, many drivers can work for up to 14 hours a day and lose money. The need to make ends meet pushes them to attempt to make up for it on other days by breaking hours of service rules that limit driving to 11 hours a day (and all duties to 14 hours a day).
- Driving to pick up new loads
- Planning routes
- Abiding by federally-mandated rest breaks
- Waiting for loading/unloading
- Submitting to rig inspections
Carriers may 'discourage' this behavior officially, but veteran drivers and CDL school instructors (who often work for the company) unofficially teach drivers how to get around federal rules. One common tactic is to have two hours-of-service logbooks and only recording half your hours in each. That way, drivers can work as long as they want without risking a safety violation.
Shipping companies count on this culture to improve worker efficiency without spending extra money—in other words, they're exhausting their own drivers to improve their own profit margins. To company executives, the accidents are just a part of doing business. When trucking company policies lead to life-altering accidents, those shippers and carriers are obligated to pay for the losses they cause.
How to Recover with R+L Carriers Truck Accident Lawyers
If you've been injured in a commercial truck accident, you're going to need an attorney. Why? Because the truck company is already on the defensive—while you or a loved one recovers in the hospital, they're deploying an army of adjusters and lawyers to gather evidence against you. Whatever claim you file for medical care or lost wages will be delayed or denied, if the truck company gets its way.
Arnold & Itkin LLP has seen it happen time and time again, which is why we know how to fight against it. When clients turn to us, we give them the same resources and tactics that trucking companies use against them—we deploy our own accident reconstruction experts, adjusters, and investigators to determine how the truck company or its driver contributed to your losses. In short, we level the playing field between you and the trucking company. Our team has helped our clients win billions of dollars this way—allowing them to pay for medical care, replace income, and provide for their families. We've helped people rebuild their lives. There's no better result than that.
Call (888) 493-1629 to speak with our R+L Carriers truck accident lawyers today—there's no fee unless we win, allowing our clients to focus 100% on healing and moving forward.