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Do Wisconsin Crashes Happen Because of Unfair Truck Driver Pay?

In Wisconsin, tractor-trailer accidents are among the deadliest and most devastating: In accidents involving large trucks and passenger cars, over 85% of the fatalities are occupants of passenger cars.

Road safety experts have spent time analyzing the cause of crashes with 18-wheelers and have concluded that up to 25% of these accidents can be attributed to truck drivers who are drowsy/falling asleep behind the wheel, losing focus/concentration, or speeding to reach their destination on time.

What does a truck driver’s pay have to do with road accidents?

Almost all interstate truck drivers are part of the paid-by-the-mile system.

  • The system allows motor carriers to pay only the productive (driving) hours and keep the pressure on their drivers to deliver the goods on time.
  • Candidate drivers may be attracted by this system because the pay can be good if the drivers stay on the road for long hours.
  • The pay-by-the-mile system keeps truck drivers on the road far longer than they should be. This has serious consequences for all Wisconsin motorists who share the road with them.


How does the pay-by-the-mile system lead to more Wisconsin tractor-trailer crashes?

Truck drivers spend a disproportionate amount of time earning nothing. This includes:

Time spent...

• to buy fuel
service and repair for their truck
• in traffic jams and weigh stations
waiting to unload or pick up cargo
stowing and securing cargo on the trailer
searching for a rest stop or parking slot
waiting to receive the next assignment.

This leaves little time during which the truck driver earns a wage. From these wages, the truck driver will have to deduct all the out-of-pocket expenses that come with the job including restaurant meals, parking space at the truck stop, toll road and scale fees, motor oil and other fluids, and phone bills.

Is it surprising that truck drivers who are caught in this system will take any load, at any time of the day or night, no matter how tired they are, and how far they are from home? Is it surprising that a truck driver will tend to ride as fast as he or she can, to reach their destination?

Contact us today

After a devastating semi-truck accident, you may need the advice of a Wisconsin personal injury lawyer with considerable experience in dealing with motor carriers and their insurers. Hupy and Abraham have that experience.

If you have been injured in a Wisconsin, Iowa, or Illinois car, truck or semi-trailer accident, contact the auto accident attorneys of Hupy and Abraham today for a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation toll-free 800-800-5678.