William Long Whitesell, L.L.C.

Would truckers be safer with an hourly wage?

Truckers do not get an hourly wage. They often get paid by the mile. This is done to reward them directly for productivity. If they're moving goods, they're making money.

While that simplistic reasoning makes sense on some levels, some experts have suggested it makes the industry more dangerous.

Say a driver is running behind. Is he or she going to speed to try to cover more miles in less time? That's the only way he or she really has to increase how much he or she earns per hour.

Or say a driver knows that he or she is too tired to drive. He or she might fall asleep behind the wheel, but then he or she gets offered a long and lucrative job. He or she will probably take it and churn out those miles.

Plus, truckers often get frustrated if there are delays. The load isn't ready to go for four hours, so they sit around doing nothing and earning nothing. This messes up the sleep schedule, which can lead to drowsy driving even if driving rules are followed. But truckers will go ahead and do it anyway because they need to make a living. That extra time spent sitting in the dock didn't help them at all financially.

Not only would an hourly wage fix some of these issues, but it might make the system more efficient. Companies aren't always worried about delays if they don't have to pay drivers, but they would be concerned if a driver was earning $25 per hour to sit at the dock.

Have you been injured in an accident with a negligent truck driver who was unsafe due to the way he or she is paid? If so, you may have a right to financial compensation.

Source: About Truck Driving, "TD103: 6 Causes Of Tired Truckers," Todd McCann, accessed Dec. 12, 2017

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