Trucking companies often encourage its drivers to exceed their legally allowed driving hours. This is a direct violation of federal and state laws. Trucking companies want to earn all the money they can. Truck drivers agree to this either because they feel coerced to do so or because they too will earn more money. In addition to being illegal, it causes stress and places unnecessary strain on the drivers.
Truck drivers who are forced to be on the road for more than they are legally allowed to be are at an increased risk of being involved in an accident. Fatigue causes drivers to have slower reaction times. This is due to reduced awareness, alertness and a loss of concentration.
Truck drivers feel pressured to break law, survey shows
More than a quarter of all truck drivers say they are under pressure to drive at high speeds and a similar share are pressured into carrying overweight loads, according to a survey of almost 1000 drivers.
The survey, commissioned by the Transport Workers’ Union, also revealed that one in two drivers say they work more than 12 hours a day.
The survey was commissioned as part of the union’s campaign to reduce pressure on drivers and trucking companies from major clients, including Coles and Woolworths.
The surveyed drivers said pressure caused a significant minority to at least consider breaking the law.About 30 per cent said they felt pressure to exceed safe driving hours, while almost 10 per cent said they felt pressure to use stimulants to fight fatigue.
Truck drivers should be aware that they will face fines if they are caught speeding. If they are involved in an accident they could be injured or cause injuries to others. However, if the accident occurs outside of their legally allowed driving hours the penalties could be quite severe. In addition to fines they could even wind up in jail.
Truck drivers are sometimes tempted to take shortcuts by traveling on restricted roads. Many drivers also try to avoid Department of Transportion (DOT) workers by traveling on restricted roads. However, that can be very dangerous and has been the cause of many truck accidents. Avoid restricted roads as they are not able to safely accommodate heavy trucks.