Why Being Paid By the Mile is No Excuse for Truckers to Drive Negligently

Dallas, Tx, 08/17/2015 /SubmitPressRelease123/

A recent article suggests that a payment model used to compensate truck drivers motivates some to speed: Texas truck accident lawyer Amy Witherite weighs in.


Recently, an op-ed piece was published by the LA Times regarding a purported crisis within the trucking industry. The article suggests that there is a shortage of drivers and lists several factors that may be to blame. The issue may be a catalyst for why some drivers take on more jobs to pick up the slack and drive excessive hours that violate industry regulations. One of the most surprising elements of the article is the mention that commercial drivers are generally paid by the mile, as opposed to by the hour or load. According to the report, this factor may motivate a number of truck drivers to engage in negligent driving behaviors on the road like speeding to ensure that they can obtain a higher level of pay.   


Source: LA Times Report “Why paying truckers by the mile is unfair and dangerous”


“Paying by the mile is both unsafe and unfair. It encourages truckers to speed in order to make money. Getting paid by the mile, moreover, means truckers never know how much they will make for any given week (they can’t predict breakdowns, traffic, weather or man-made delays at warehouses). Drivers report that inconsistent pay is even more of a drawback than low pay.”


To read more visit http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-0615-kahaner-trucking-shortage-20150615-story.html.


It is widely debated that many carriers make cost savings decisions that may not be in the best interest of the public. The LA Times article quotes one company that seems to acknowledge an awareness of this. Dupré Logistics in Lafayette, La, has grown to have approximately 600 trucks and double the number of drivers since starting in 1980. Dupré  does pay drivers by the hour but notes that even when companies abide by regulations a safety issue still persists. The company admitted to seeing an issue with driver fatigue among truckers leading them to be accident prone. Reggie Dupré, the company’s chief executive, said “We were compliant, and we were legal, but we weren’t safe.”


Although the company changed its payment model to one that reports show has led to a reduction in crash rates for their own drivers, most companies have not followed suit, and thousands of crashes involving commercial vehicles continue to occur each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the estimated cost of fatal crashes involving large trucks and buses was $40 billion in 2012. The most common factors of these accidents included speeding and fatigue.


Texas based truck accident attorney Amy Witherite of the Eberstein Witherite law firm says that the rhetoric used by some regarding the plight of truckers and the industry as a whole can appear to be an attempt to offer excuses for why some truck drivers choose to engage in negligent driving behaviors that put others at risk. Says Witherite “it doesn’t matter if a truck driver is paid by the mile or by the hour, speeding to meet deadlines or engaging in any unsafe driving behavior to earn more money is not acceptable.”


The attorney states that in spite of any issues within the industry it is important for companies and drivers to take reasonable steps to ensure that are not putting others at risk while on the road. She notes that those who have been involved in commercial truck accident caused by truck driver negligence should contact a personal injury attorney who specializes in these types of cases to discuss their legal options, so that responsible parties are held accountable.


According to Witherite, “companies and drivers should be held accountable for any damages their careless actions impose on innocent victims. The pursuit of additional by-the-mile pay is no excuse for putting anyone’s life in danger.”


Media Contact:


Lucy Tiseo

Eberstein Witherite LLP

Phone: 866-774-5410


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