Truckers’ wages encourage speeding

Did you always assume that truckers were paid by the hour? It’s a common misconception; in many cases, truckers are actually paid by the mile.

This is done, in theory, to encourage production. The problem, though, is that it may encourage speeding. If a trucker knows that he or she can earn more by breaking the speed limit, risks may be taken when the trucker would just set the cruise control at a safe limit if he or she were being paid by the hour.

You may think it doesn’t make that much of a difference, but remember that truckers drive all day. While going just five or 10 mph over the limit doesn’t seem like it’d cover a lot of extra ground, it can after a day of driving. This just adds up as the days, weeks and months go by.

Plus, truckers often run into delays, for which they’re not paid. A trucker gets to the warehouse and the shipment isn’t ready for a half an hour. He or she gets stuck in traffic for two hours. A crash up ahead shuts down the highway for the afternoon.

After these delays, truckers may then be tempted to speed simply to make up ground that they lost. They were counting on that money, budgeting around it and the delays cost them.

Naturally, speeding does make accidents more likely. If a truck driver takes unneeded risks trying to make up time or earn more — or both — and you’re injured in an accident, it’s important to know if you have a legal right to financial compensation.

Source: LA Times, “Op-Ed Why paying truckers by the mile is unfair and dangerous,” Larry Kahaner, accessed June 30, 2017