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Posted on January 3, 2019 in Interesting Articles
Profits drive companies, and time is money. But should our safety come second to a company’s profits? Business Insider reported that highway safety took a step backward in December. Interstate truck drivers in California learned they will no longer get paid rest breaks. With encouragement from the National Retail Federation and the American Trucking Associations, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) removed its requirement for trucking companies to provide paid breaks for their drivers who drive in and out of California. Interstate tractor-trailer drivers in California used to receive the same paid breaks as other hourly employees. State labor laws require a 30 minute meal break for shifts over five hours and a 10 minute break every four hours. Now those mandated breaks will be unpaid for truckers, which means more drivers are likely to skip the breaks.
Truck drivers nationwide are required to take an unpaid 30 minute rest break. They are also not allowed to drive more than 11 hours in a 24 hour period of time. An FMCSA study found that 13% of commercial vehicle drivers who get into accidents are fatigued due to not taking adequate breaks or driving too long. Desiree Wood, the president of Real Women in Trucking told Business Insider, “It truly defies safety. If you really cared about safety, you would want people on the highway who are not stressed out about their pay and who are well rested.”