Some workers are paid a salary, where they’re given the exact same pay every month, regardless of how many hours they actually put in. Other workers just get an hourly wage, so the totals will differ a bit, depending on how long they were at work and if they had to work any overtime hours at time-and-a-half pay.
But truck drivers have an entirely different pay system. Most of them are paid by the mile. They don’t have a set hourly wage. They’re just given a certain number of cents per mile, and then their wage is tied to however many miles they can cover in an hour.
Why would this be dangerous?
You may already have realized how dangerous this can be. By connecting the number of miles a driver covers with the amount of money he or she can earn, the driver has an incentive to put in more miles every single day. Maybe they have financial pressure and stress at home, so they need to earn extra. Maybe they just want to maximize the amount of money they earn during the day. Either way, the tactic to do this is to drive farther.
This can promote some unsafe driving practices. A driver who breaks the speed limit, for instance, knows that they are going to cover more miles – and earn more money – than a driver who follows that limit. By the same token, a truck driver who has to spend a long time not moving – if there is a car accident that causes a traffic backup, for instance – always feels like they are falling behind. They’re not earning the money that they expected to earn that day, and they have to make it up by driving faster and farther.
Have you been injured?
This endless focus on productivity could cause drivers to get involved in serious accidents that injure others on the road. Those drivers might be safe otherwise, but is the company causing them to act recklessly? If you have been injured, you need to know how to seek financial compensation for your medical bills and other costs.