Truck Driver Safety
Over the road truck drivers have one of the most dangerous jobs, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics ratings of jobs with the highest fatality rates. Expanded allowable hours of service have made conditions for truck drivers worse. In 2003, the allowable hours a truck driver could drive per day were raised from 10 to 11 hours. Although Public Citizen has won twice in court to overturn the rules, drivers are still currently permitted to drive the expanded hours.
About 5,000 people die in truck-involved crashes each year, including about 800 drivers. On top of this, truck drivers work a shocking number of hours — as much as 88 hours of driving in an 8-day period, with just 34 consecutive off-duty hours to recover and return to work. These long service hours combined with outside stresses from tight timelines and little margin for error, encourage unsafe driving practices and fatigued driving. Public Citizen advocates for shorter service hours and improvements in work conditions to promote safe operation and protect truck drivers as well as drivers of other vehicles.