When you’re paid by the mile, as most over-the-road truckers are, every second counts. The more miles they drive in a given amount of time, the more money truckers make. So any delays can hit them hard in the wallet, as well as put others on the road in danger from a negligent truck driver trying to make up for lost time.
Part of any trucker’s work schedule involves waiting while his or her truck is loaded and unloaded. Since they’re generally compensated by the mile, most over-the-road truckers don’t get paid for this downtime. As one remedy, a pending federal highway funding bill includes a provision that says trucking companies must pay their drivers for time spent waiting while their big rigs are docked for loading or unloading.
Workplace fairness issues aside, this situation also poses a possible blueprint for disaster on the nation’s highways when truckers try to catch up by speeding, or traveling too fast for road or weather conditions, or ignore federal rules that mandate rest time for truck drivers.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently announced its intention to conduct a study to examine a relationship between trucker pay and trucking safety. A stated goal of the study is to determine if the way truckers are paid affects the number of trucking accidents in Missouri and throughout the entire United States.
Understandably, pay is the top concern of today’s truckers. A recent survey of truck drivers showed that compensation, followed by time at home, was the top factor when considering where to work. Almost 80 percent of the truck drivers surveyed said pay was their number one consideration when choosing a job. Incidentally, training was the lowest ranked consideration given by truck drivers.
Careless truckers and negligent trucking companies are responsible for numerous catastrophic and fatal trucking accidents each year. If you have lost a loved one in a truck crash, you may want to consult an attorney to investigate the truck accident and hold all those who caused it accountable for your loss.