D&S fellow Karen Levy writes about the nation’s trucking system and the need for reform. Based on her three years of research around trucker’s compliance with federal regulations, she argues the changes must address root economic causes underlying a range of unsafe practices and that electronic monitoring is an incomplete solution to a serious public safety problem.
Truckers don’t work without sleep for dangerously long stretches (as many acknowledge having done) because it’s fun. They do it because they have to earn a living. The market demands a pace of work that many drivers say is impossible to meet if they’re “driving legal.”
If we want safer highways and fewer accidents, we must also attend to the economic realities that drive truckers to push their limits.