The immense pressure trucking companies put on their drivers leads to safety violations and hazardous conditions on the road. Trucking companies push their drivers to the brink to maximize profits, often at the expense of violating federal laws and regulations. Drivers often feel like they need to comply with their employers’ unreasonable, and in many cases, unlawful demands so they could earn a competitive wage and stay employed.
Safety regulations are in place to make the trucking industry as safe as possible for truckers and others sharing the road with them. Regulations such as weight maximums and drive time limitations force truckers to do more with little. Therefore, trucker drivers, bowing to pressure from their employers or clients, drive while fatigued, drive impaired, fail to check safety systems such as brakes, lights, steering, and commit other violations of federal law so that they can get as far as possible in as short of time as possible.
The trucking industry, like many other industries operating in the U.S., is a competitive business. Companies will outbid their competitors and promise shorter delivery times, and smaller delivery windows to acquire a new client or to keep an old one.
Trucking companies like to maintain the status quo because it is better for their business. Large trucking companies and industry representatives will hire powerful and influential lobbying firms to convince legislators that new safety regulations will hurt the industry. Newly developed technology such as digital logs that track hours of service and road time automatically would make trucking safer for the truck drivers as well as everyone else, but the trucking industry recognizes that automatic logging and other safety advances such as automatic speed controls will delay deliveries. Trucking companies would rather gamble with safety than compromise profits.
Until new safety regulations are passed, trucking companies will press their drivers to speed, drive when fatigued, and drive after hours so they could squeeze every dollar out of every load.
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