Once upon a time, a career as a truck driver paved the way to a solid middle class lifestyle, but changes in the law now leave many hard working drivers impoverished. In addition to the reduced lifestyle expectations, increasing pressure on drivers to work when they’re overtired has caused trucks to be a menace on the road, leading to increasing numbers of tragic deaths for both drivers, other motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. Handling truck accidents lawsuits is extremely complicated due to overlapping state and federal laws, labor regulations and multiple corporate defendants. That’s why it’s important to hire a NYC truck accident attorney with the experience to tackle a complicated truck accident case.
Most Drivers Are Paid By the Mile
One thing that’s constant in capitalism, if it’s legal to exploit workers, they will be exploited, and the trucking industry is no exception. This is how truck companies get away with paying drivers by the mile and not by the hour. This means that when there’s a breakdown, bumper to bumper traffic or other setbacks on route, drivers are not paid for their waiting time. It’s no wonder that once they get back on the road, they need to make up for lost time by speeding and not taking breaks. This is the major reason cited by the best NYC trucking accident attorneys to understand why truck accidents have been so much more common and why they cause such catastrophic injuries.
Many Truck Drivers Must Lease Their Vehicles
One of the country’s worst and least known worker tragedies is requiring truck drivers to lease the vehicles that they drive for companies. This raw deal is pitched to drivers as a way to eventually own their own trucks, but the way it’s structured means that this is very rarely what ends up happening. When you combine this practice with paying for mileage and not hours, you create a situation where a truck driver can spend a week working, only to end up owing their boss money due to delays, fatigue, illness and other factors that reduce their mileage. These deals are so bad because they put all the costs on the drivers including truck maintenance and insurance.
Truck Companies Don’t Care About Driver Welfare or Public Safety
Sometimes drivers will call in to advise their employers that they are suffering from severe fatigue and should not be on the road, only to be threatened with losing their jobs if they dare to stop and rest. These bullying tactics create hazardous conditions for the truck driver and everybody else on the road. Federal laws have been enacted in an effort to reduce truck driver fatigue by mandating rest and sleep hours, but they don’t always line up with a driver’s reality. For example, the mandatory sleep period sometimes kicks in during the day, when the drivers doesn’t can’t fall asleep causing them to be doubly tired when they must start driving again.
NYC Truck Accident Attorney
If we want to see real change on this issue, we need to change the laws that allow truck companies to exploit their drivers. For more information about what you can do to help contact NYC Truck Accident Attorney Wittenstein & Wittenstein.