The work of commercial truckers is invaluable to the American economy. The country could not continue to operate without skilled drivers transporting goods, materials and even people across the country every day.
Unfortunately, commercial transportation as an industry has certain standards that focus more on finances than on the needs of the workers or the safety of the public. There are several ways that trucking company culture directly contributes to the likelihood that a commercial driver will cause a crash with a smaller vehicle.
Commercial drivers are often lonely and isolated
Committing to a commercial driving career can mean living a life apart from the people that you love the most. Commercial truckers are often gone from home for a week or more at a time. They may sleep in the cramped confines of the cab of their vehicle. They may go entire days without talking to anyone they know or having a personal interaction with someone else, to say nothing of physical affection, like a hug.
Loneliness caused by trucking jobs can affect workers’ health and put them at risk for making bad decisions at the wheel. They might treat the depression they experience with alcohol or drugs or decide to use their cellphone while driving.
Long hours and demanding contracts can lead to exhausted drivers
Driving for long hours and fatigue affect not only someone’s performance but their ability to stay awake. Although there are rules that limit how long truckers can drive, some of them will violate those rules to get a load where it needs to be on time. Others may not break those rules but might still not get enough rest to be safe on the road the next day.
Additionally, pressure to arrive on time and a desire to be done for the day might motivate someone to drive more quickly than they should. Speeding can greatly increase the risk of a crash and how serious that crash is.
Although the pressures of trucking jobs may explain why some of these crashes occur, an explanation doesn’t undo the damage. Victims of truck crashes can file an insurance claim or even file a personal injury lawsuit to recover their financial losses.