Why Trucking Accidents Are Happening More Often
According to FMCSA data, at least 1 in 7 large truck crashes are directly caused by fatigue. However, experts believe the data is misleading—they think even more accidents are caused by fatigue, but truckers don't self-report how much sleep they've gotten during an accident investigation. Even more crashes (1 in 4) occur when a driver has been operating for 17 hours straight or longer—despite the fact that truckers are only allowed to work 14 hours a day maximum. Even then, drivers are only allowed to spend 11 hours of their workday driving.
Why are so many drivers exhausted? Why do drivers work longer than the law allows them to? Many would say "because that's what it takes to pay the bills," and they're right. But the problem isn't the regulations—it's how the trucking companies operate. Truck companies figured out a way to get truck drivers to minimize sleep, eliminate breaks, and drive for as long and as fast as possible every day: pay them by the mile. Pay-by-mile arrangements are common for the thousands of new drivers that enter the industry every year because it promises them the chance to "make what they want." Instead, it leads to hours of service violations and dangerous practices.
Soon after getting their own rig, drivers learn that "pay-by-mile" is carrier-code for "no-pay-for-everything-else," which can mean that hours of a driver's day goes unpaid. It's not uncommon for drivers to work for 12 hours straight and realize that they lost money that day. Many of them vow to make up the miles the next day, but there's no guarantee that it'll be possible. So they turn to the techniques that their trucking instructors taught them to get around hours of service violations, like keeping two logbooks.
- Driving to pick up new loads
- Planning routes
- Abiding by federally-mandated rest breaks
- Waiting for loading
- Waiting for unloading
- Submitting to rig inspections
Like we mentioned above, this allows thousands of exhausted drivers to get behind the wheels of their 80,000-pound rigs every morning. Keep in mind, sleep researchers believe that even moderate tiredness can impair our driving at the same level as having a drink. It also leads to thousands of trucking deaths every year. If we wouldn't let truck drivers drink behind the wheel, we can't allow them to get tired behind the wheel.
Call Schneider National Truck Accident Attorneys: (888) 493-1629
The trucking company who caused your accident is already mobilizing against your claim. Maybe all you want is enough money to cover your medical bills—to them, it won't matter. They'll deploy adjusters, lawyers, and investigators to weaken or squeeze your claim to protect themselves. You deserve the same resources they get—you deserve our Schneider National truck accident lawyers. When people are injured in truck accidents, they turn to Arnold & Itkin LLP. Why? Because we have helped our clients win billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements—enough money to pay for their medical care, replace their lost wages, and provide for their families. Our goal, first and foremost, is to help truck accident victims rebuild their lives from the ground up.
If you're looking for help holding a carrier accountable, call (888) 493-1629 or use our short online form—there are no upfront costs, and our clients pay nothing unless they win.