Does the trucking industry contribute to crashes?

Among retired truckers, one complaint many seem to share is the burden of their expectations. Many face long, grueling drives and shifts that could last 20 or more hours at a time.

Naturally, this contributed to the rate of drowsy driving incidents that took place. But just how much did the trucking industry itself work to fight against these issues? In the end, did they actually contribute to them?

The long hours of a trucker

According to the Sleep Foundation, numerous factors exist behind every trucking accident. But a recurring issue is drowsiness among truckers. This contributes to a disproportionately large number of crashes and other incidents. Many drivers attribute this to the long hours and huge distance traveled in a day by truckers.

As research continues, however, an alarming trend emerges. In specific, it seems as though some aspects of trucking company culture actually ignore or even encourage behaviors that might lead to drowsy driving.

Incentivizing dangerous driving behavior

For example, many companies will incentivize drivers to maximize the miles they travel in a day by providing bonuses or other boons. Sometimes, promotions or better shifts might even hinge on how much distance a trucker tends to travel in a day. This might also dictate things like how new your equipment or truck is, or how much help you get on a shift.

Needless to say, this creates a huge conflict of interest. Drivers should do all in their power to stay as safe as possible. But this is hard when weighed against financial gain. Thus, experts and truckers alike work to shine a spotlight on this dangerous side of the industry.