Paying Truckers Right Lead to Safety For Everyone
The trucking industry is the beating heart of the American economy and the drivers are the blood cells, so to speak. If truckers were to suddenly stop working, the essential circulation of goods from docks and warehouses to businesses would cease, leaving millions of operations throughout the country in a lurch.
Yet, truckers get a relatively raw deal for the important work they do: they are paid by the mile and not the hour, which means they make no money while sitting in traffic or waiting at a warehouse or dock. Any inefficiency in surrounding operations – for instance, slow warehouse workers – is soaked up by the trucker at no cost to anyone else.
Another common complaint by truckers is that they can never know how much they will make in any given week. Mechanical issues, traffic flow, weather, delays of operations at warehouse – all of these unpredictable factors can affect a route’s completion time. When it comes to financial security, inconsistent pay can be even more of drawback than low pay.
Not only is paying by the mile unfair for truckers, it also leads to unsafe roads for everyone else. It encourages speeding and other forms of reckless driving in truckers who want to make money more efficiently. Some even go against Hours of Service (HOS) regulations to get more miles in when they should be resting. In fact, fatigued driving is a huge problem in the trucking industry – it is among the top 10 causes of large truck accidents at 13 percent.
If issues of safety do not motivate trucking companies to change their employee payment policies, then the pressures of demand will. At this very moment, the trucking industry is in crisis mode because it cannot find enough people to sit behind the wheel. According to the American Trucking Associations, a trade group, the industry is short 35,000 to 40,000 drivers. Current trends indicate that the number will expand to 240,000 drivers by 2022.
After considering all of the above points, it only makes sense to pay truckers by the hour rather than by the mile. This would benefit the whole trucking industry. More importantly, the truck accident rate would be reduced significantly, saving countless lives.
At Wilshire Law Firm, we have seen the devastating effects of truck accidents firsthand. While truckers certainly have a degree of responsibility for the accidents they cause, the companies behind them enforce the policies which cause truckers to drive dangerously in the first place. These companies should be held liable for the damages they cause as a result of their negligence. Our experienced attorneys help truck accident victims and their families get the justice and the full and fair compensation they deserve.