Sharing the road with commercial truckers is an inevitable part of life in modern America, but if you are like many motorists, you may do your best to avoid traveling near large trucks whenever possible. In addition to their sheer size and weight making them dangerous, truck drivers often face tight schedules and considerable pressure, which sometimes leads them to make decisions that place you and other drivers in danger.
Some truckers abuse stimulants and other substances or try to save time by eating and drinking behind the wheel. Truckers with long commutes also pose a threat to the motoring public. Per TruckingInfo.com, “long” commutes are those that last in excess of 150 minutes, and such long commutes are becoming increasingly commonplace among American truckers.
High housing costs are part of the problem
Nowadays, many truckers are finding that they are getting “priced out” of housing in many areas, and particularly in urban communities, where trucking jobs are often more easily available. This is especially true in California. Therefore, many semitruck drivers have no choice other than to live in rural areas and make long commutes, but signs indicate they are endangering everyone in doing so.
Why long trucker commutes place you at risk
Among the most concerning aspects of long trucker commutes is the fact that it means truckers have less time for leisure, rest and their families. When truckers spend more time on the road, they must sacrifice sleep and personal time in exchange, and this can lead to exhaustion, fatigue and a wealth of related problems.
When truckers experience fatigue, their decision-making ability suffers and their reaction time can take a hit, too. Fatigue may also make truck drivers more likely to turn to stimulants in an effort to stay awake behind the wheel, and this, too, places you at risk.
The true prevalence and danger of the long trucker commute currently is unclear, but the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is concerned enough about it that they are calling for additional studies on the topic.
If you have been harmed in a truck accident, you may be able to claim compensation. Speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.