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Could the Bad Economy Be Leading to More Trucking Accidents This Season?

The economy has been in the news for so long that many people are tired of hearing about the recession. Nevertheless, there are many subtle ways that economic forces could be impacting your life – without you even being aware of it. For example, some experts believe that the poor economy may lead to an increase in trucking accidents. Currently, about 100 people die as a result of trucking accidents each week. Many hundreds more sustain serious brain injuries, broken bones, burn injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, and other serious personal injury as a result of trucking accidents.

During the holidays, there are many factors that add to the risks of trucking accidents. During this time of year, some states have poor weather and very short daylight hours, leaving truck drivers to drive in worse conditions. As well, there are more drivers on the roads as people across Florida and across the country celebrate the holidays. This, too, can lead to more accidents.

Economics plays its part during the holidays, as well. Many businesses need to hire additional truck drivers at this time of year in order to meet increased demand by shoppers. However, many businesses want to spend as little money as possible on new drivers, especially with the economy still unsteady. This can lead to companies hiring untested and un-unionized truck drivers. In some cases, companies may be unwilking to offer additional training due to cost concerns or may be unwilling to run background checks on new drivers. Unfortunately, this can lead to hazardous driving on the roads.

Companies worried about the bottom line may also put off some repairs on trucks until after the holiday rush. Unfortunately, even minor problems can quickly become huge issues if they cause a truck to malfunction on the road. Poor alignment, tire problems, and other issues can cause a truck to lose control and hit pedestrians or other vehicles.

During the traffic rush, some companies may also be tempted to overwork drivers in an attempt to satisfy customers. As customers demand a better selection of products and every faster delivery, companies strive to stay competitive. If companies are also trying to slash costs, they may pressure drivers to work long hours, something which can cause driver fatigue and accidents.

Currently, drivers who drive between states are not covered under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act. This fact allows businesses to avoid paying drivers overtime. Companies concerned with the bottom dollar sometimes overwork a smaller pool of drivers rather than paying for new workers. This can lead to drivers literally falling asleep behind the wheel. Some businesses pressure drivers to work 60 hours a week or even more, which is far more than is considered safe.