Surprising Roadway Trucking Hazards

Posted by on Jun 16, 2013

Truckers spend their days hauling cargo cross-country for a variety of industries. Their work is incredibly important, and they often make great sacrifices to get the job done. Operating a truck is a demanding job that takes an individual away from his or her family for weeks at a time and requires them to sit for upwards of ten hours a day, which can take a serious toll on a person’s body.

Truckers are often paid for every mile they travel rather than by the hour. They also have a great deal of pressure to meet delivery deadlines. This combination means that stopping or slowing down is actually detrimental to them, as it effects their pay and possibly their standing with their employer. Additionally, roadway laws concerning trucks make it difficult for truckers to stop in certain areas, including:

  • Weight restrictions on exit ramps
  • Bridges that are too low for the truck to pass underneath
  • Areas where operating an 18-wheeler is illegal

Some states have a crippling lack of rest stops as well. North Dakota, a state where the booming oil industry has created a drastic increase in trucker traffic, provides a mere three rest stops for hundreds of miles of busy highways.

All of these pressures have nudged truckers towards what seems to them an intuitive way to keep moving, which increases their overall income, while simultaneously eliminating the need to stop to take care of the biological necessity to expel liquid waste; many truckers have turned to urinating in gallon-sized jugs instead of finding someplace to stop and handle their business. The worst part is, many truckers throw these jugs, commonly called “trucker bombs,” out of their window.

Highways in the northwest are heavily littered with these hazardous jugs. One Washington county tallied cleaning up 2,666 urine-filled bottles in a one year period. Many states take such littering very seriously and impose severe penalties on people they find littering on the highways. Texas has an extensive anti-littering campaign, “Don’t Mess with Texas,” and Pennsylvania is also making a push to increase awareness of highway littering.

This practice is not only a considerable ecological problem, but is clearly also incredibly dangerous. When they’re behind the wheel, truckers should be focusing on their job, which is safely operating their vehicle. Anything that distracts from this could lead to serious accidents. A trucker in Utah lost his life in such an accident. He was found dead in the wreckage with his pants around his ankles and his urine jug spilled all over the cab’s floor.

When truckers fail to operate their heavy, dangerous vehicles in a safe manner and end up injuring innocent motorists, a personal injury lawyer can hold him or her accountable for their reckless behavior.

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