How Freight Transportation Companies Make the Roads Less Safe for Everyone
Every year, FMCSA data predicts that trucker fatigue directly causes 1 in 7 large truck accidents. Experts believe that fatigue contributes to even more accidents than that because truck drivers don't report how tired they are when they cause an accident. Tired driving is a real hazard, though—as many as 1 in 4 truck accidents occur when a long-haul driver has been working for 17 hours or longer in a 24-hour period. Thousands of injuries and hundreds of fatalities occur every year because truck drivers don't get enough sleep while on the road.
Why is tired trucking such an issue? What's keeping drivers from getting a full night's sleep? It's simple: trucking company policies. Carriers and shippers often pay their new drivers 25 to 40 cents per mile they drive, promising them that they'll be able to set their own pace and make whatever pay they'd like. Drivers quickly realize that trucking involves a great deal of non-driving work—all of which is unpaid.
- Driving to pick up new loads
- Planning routes
- Abiding by federally-mandated rest breaks
- Waiting for loading
- Waiting for unloading
- Submitting to rig inspections
On top of that, it's difficult to make a living driving less than several hundred miles a day—all within the federally-mandated window of 11 hours. That means traffic, bad weather, a flat tire, or any unexpected delay can mean a driver can work all day and lose money. The industry culture of "hard-driving"—which companies develop through their policies and marketing—convinces drivers that they need drive longer and longer hours, regardless of what the law says. Truck driving school instructors or veteran drivers will teach new drivers how to get around federal regulators by falsifying logs or keep multiple logbooks to appear compliant. This practice, though widely accepted, is highly dangerous. It's a culture like this that has resulted in drivers regularly hauling for 20-24 hours without breaks, putting motorists at risk with every passing hour.
Despite thousands of deaths every year from truck accidents, freight carriers don't see the culture of hard-driving as a problem. To them, drivers working longer hours to make ends meet is a competitive advantage—it keeps their profit margins wide by not requiring them to hire extra drivers. Meanwhile, the rest of us pay the price, many of us with our lives or our livelihoods.
Speak with Swift Transportation Truck Accident Attorneys
Truck companies don't have sympathy for the people their practices injure or hurt. Even if you just want to recover your medical expenses, carriers will fight tooth and nail to make sure you either give up your claim or settle for far less than you need. The only way to fight back is to have an advocate—someone who has faced companies like these before and won billions for their clients.
The Swift Transportation truck accident lawyers at Arnold & Itkin have helped 18-wheeler victims recover compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and more. Our approach has allowed our clients to provide for their families and face the future with confidence and hope. Our firm covers the cost of every case from start to finish, allowing accident victims to focus solely on healing. Our clients only pay if we win their case.
Speak with Arnold & Itkin today! Call (888) 493-1629 or contact us online for your free consultation.