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Truck drivers are older and working too much

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Across California, families are hitting the highways to make the most of the summer with a road trip. Yet new reports show that sharing the road with big rigs as regulations change has made truck drivers older and more exhausted, putting other cars on the road at risk.

As USA Today reports, California has a unique issue as many trucks are driven by port truckers, who take large loads from the ports in Los Angeles only a short distance. Often these drivers head from the port to a warehouse or to the train that will be carrying the load for the next leg of its journey. But due to a regulation requiring port trucking companies to buy entirely new fleets back in 2008, many companies forced the vehicles' debt onto drivers who lease the trucks and who can lose thousands of dollars paid into their trucks if they are fired from the company. This intense financial obligation leaves the drivers open to extreme exploitation, which is often exercised by the companies forcing their drivers to keep working well past the legal hourly limits and having them falsify their driving records. Some truckers drove up to 20 hours in one day and recounted stories of company parking lots being locked, forcing the trucks back on the road to pick up more loads.

In addition to the exhaustion, many truck drivers are experiencing, new reports from CBS News state that a truck driver shortage has caused the age of commercial truck drivers across the country to increase dramatically. Many companies are actively recruiting drivers over the age of 65, who may not have enough money for retirement, some of the drivers are well into their 80s. In 2015, California had 258 truck accidents involving drivers over the age of 70.

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