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Long trucker commutes endanger motorists

Sharing the road with commercial trucks often makes motorists feel uncomfortable, and for many reasons. In addition to their sheer size, which suggests that a car will typically find itself on the losing end of an accident with a truck, truckers sometimes engage in dangerous driving behaviors to meet the demands of the job.

In addition to many truckers taking unnecessary risks, such as driving while eating or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, signs indicate that the length of a truck driver’s commute can also endanger others on the road.

Long trucker commutes increasingly common

Nowadays, home and rent prices, and particularly those in many urban areas, are so high that truckers are often “priced out” of many areas. Essentially, this means they have little option other than to live far outside the outskirts of cities, where many trucking companies have headquarters, and commute in long distances. Trucker commutes have gotten so long, in many areas, that “long commutes” are those that last in excess of 150 minutes.

How this endangers motorists

When semitruck drivers spend hours in the car before even getting behind the wheel of their trucks, it becomes increasingly likely that these drivers will experience exhaustion or fatigue, and that their driving performance will suffer as a result. Driving fatigued can impact trucker reaction time, and it can also increase the chance of a trucker falling asleep at the wheel and causing an accident.

Long commutes also mean that truck drivers have less time to sleep, rest and enjoy leisure time, which can breed exhaustion and low morale. Additionally, studies suggest a correlation between excessive commutes and poor physical health. Truckers with longer commutes are more likely to experience heart problems and high blood pressure than those with shorter rides to work, which may also impact driving ability.

The extent of the dangers of long trucker commutes is not yet known, but the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has enough concerns about the matter that the agency wants to conduct additional surveys to assess the problem further.

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