Unlike many jobs in which employees can punch the clock at the end of a long day, Tennessee truck drivers must often push exhaustion to the limit. It almost seems as if today’s truckers have given the duty of hard work an entirely new meaning. Trucker fatigue has been a point of concern for years — and is a problem that is in dire need of change within the industry.
Most industries undergo some level of change, along with changes in the economy. Business Insider comments on the ways truck driving has changed over recent years, speculating on why the field has seen a drastic drop in the number of employees. While falling pay and an increase in driving costs have both contributed to the plummeting number of drivers, BI also brings to attention driver compliance, an issue that results in driver fatigue. Where does one draw the line between violating regulations and preserving employee health? When employers give drivers an unrealistic set of expectations, the safety of everyone on the road could be at stake.
As USA Today shares, one Los Angeles truck driver had a typical workday of 16 straight hours; unfortunately, he is not alone. Trucking companies commonly demand long hours and time away from home, leading to employee dissatisfaction and health concerns. Some companies even place the burden of truck repairs on the employees rather than addressing it through the company itself. USA Today also mentions the disturbing fact that some employers fire truckers when they become too exhausted to continue. Providing a scope into the lives of more than 300 drivers, USA Today found that companies frequently break federal safety laws that limit work shifts to 11 hours on the road per day. It is clear that the trucking industry’s problem regarding employee exhaustion is often linked to the violation of safety regulations.