Law Office of Michael R. De La Paz

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Do long trucker commutes endanger motorists?

Today’s commercial trucks pose obvious threats to other motorists because of their sheer size and weight, but they can prove even more dangerous and potentially deadly when Texas truck drivers are tired, intoxicated or otherwise ill-equipped to drive. These days, safety advocates are becoming increasingly concerned with another part of many truckers’ lives that may be affecting their performance: long commutes.

According to Trucking Info, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is concerned enough about the possible dangers linked to excessively long trucker commutes that the agency is ramping up its efforts to study associated effects. Long trucker commutes, or those that last longer than 150 minutes, are becoming increasingly common in the industry, but some believe they are placing the motoring public in unnecessary danger.

Part of the problem may be due to the fact that every minute truckers spend commuting to work is one they do not spend sleeping, resting or spending time with their families. In other words, long commutes can make truckers more likely to drive fatigued, which can impact reaction time, judgment and so on. Long commutes can also have a negative impact on trucker health, with one recent study involving Texas drivers revealing that those with longer commutes are typically less physically fit and more likely to have poor heart health than their peers.

Such issues can potentially cause truck drivers to experience heart attacks and related health issues behind the wheel, which can impact performance and potentially cause crashes with others on the roadway. While more research is necessary to determine the full effects of long commutes on trucker performance, the problem will likely continue in the meantime as more and more truck drivers find themselves priced out of housing markets in the areas in which they work.

This information is educational in nature and does not constitute legal advice.

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