Photo of attorneys Smith, Meier & Webb, LPA

Experienced Attorneys Diverse Practice
Personal Attention

Truck driver pay could promote dangerous driving

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2024 | Personal Injury

It’s crucial for truck drivers to operate their vehicles in a safe manner. A semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and can crush a passenger vehicle, which probably only weighs around 4,000 pounds. A single mistake by any driver is problematic, but the ramifications can be more severe if they are a truck driver.

Unfortunately, some trucking companies do things that may actually promote unsafe driving. They can put extra pressure on their drivers to be productive, to hit deadlines and to get more done. All of this may help the business and increase the revenue that they earn, but it can also make the roads more dangerous.

Pay by the mile

One example of this pressure is that many truck drivers are paid by the mile. For instance, a driver could get $.50 for every mile that they covered during the day.

But this is problematic in two ways. First, if the driver wants to increase their earnings, they need to find some way to cover more miles. They could do this by breaking the speed limit, for instance, or by driving for additional hours even when the regulations say that it’s time for a break. In other words, the driver has a financial incentive to break the regulations if they think they can earn more money.

On the other hand, drivers who get stuck in traffic may feel that they are actively losing money. They were planning on earning a certain amount for their budget, but they can’t do it if traffic slows them down. Some truck drivers may be more likely to speed or drive aggressively once they get back on the open road, trying to make up for lost time.

This pressure can lead to serious accidents, and injured parties need to know how they can seek financial compensation.