Does Paying Truck Drivers by the Hour Result in More Truck Accidents

There’s no question that the trucking industry is an enormous business. In fact, more than 66% of goods are transported by trucks. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are nearly three million people with CDL working in this industry and another million have a CDL but don’t use it. According to the American Trucking Association, the industry needs as many as 40,000 and expect to need another 240,000 by 2022.

Companies have been trying different tactics to attract new drivers

Companies have done a number of things to try and make a career in truck driving more attractive. They’ve created shorter routes and added signing bonuses. They’ve started paying for truck driving training and are offering unique incentives for military veterans, women, and immigrations. While this has helped somewhat, the companies report that more needs to be done.

A new idea has made some in the trucking industry nervous

One of the ideas that truck companies are considering has made some people nervous. As it stands, it’s almost always the case that a truck driver is paid by the mile. However, some in the industry think that a good way to solve the shortage of drivers is to begin to pay by the hour. Think about it like this: When a driver is paid per mile, they’re not getting paid when they’re sitting at a red light or as they’re waiting for their truck to be loaded or unloaded.

This takes the pressure off the driver as they are no longer the ones with the consequences of traffic issues, weather problems, or issues with the warehouse. When they’re paid by hour, they’re actually paid for every moment they’re working.

One truck carrier started paying by the hour and had interesting results

One of the arguments that companies make is that more truck accidents would result if truck drivers were paid by the hour. One company’s attempt to pay by the hour did not show that. They found that when they transitioned to paying drivers by the hour, their accident rate dropped significantly. Other drivers were excited about the idea of being paid hourly and the result has been that the company has a 17% turnover rate compared to other companies with rates as high as 90%.

Why are the crash stats lower when truck drivers are paid per hour?

While some were surprised by the results, when you consider the two major contributions to trucking accidents it makes sense – speeding and fatigue. The CDC says that truck and bus accidents cost about $40 billion a year. If drivers are paid by the hour, they may not drive as late into the night and they may not speed to get to their destination as fast possible. They may not cut corners when it came to safety and maintenance.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident or another type of accident, we encourage you to get help. Contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 today for a free legal consultation.