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The dangerous downside of truckers being paid by the mile

The trucking industry is different in the way it pays than most other industries. While most people are used to a yearly salary or an hourly wage, many truckers are paid based on how many miles they drive. This rate tends to fall between $0.28 per mile and $0.40 per mile, though some companies exceed that.

In some ways, this is a good way to pay people. Truck drivers earn based on productivity. They have an incentive to get work done. A truck driver with an hourly wage may be tempted to take longer for meals or breaks, whereas a driver on a per mile wage wants to get back on the road.

There is a dangerous downside, though. Truck drivers cannot control everything that happens on the road. A storm hits, and drivers have to slow down. A construction zone leaves them stuck in traffic, covering just two miles in an hour. This can throw off their schedules and projected earnings.

Will drivers try to find ways to make up for it? Will a driver be tempted to speed on the other side of that construction zone, trying to cover extra miles and get his or her earnings back up toward the projections?

Truck drivers are also not allowed to drive for more than 70 hours in eight days. Will drivers be tempted to spend extra hours on the road, even when they're too tired to drive safely, just to log extra miles?

If so, other drivers can get seriously injured in the resulting truck accidents. It is important for these individuals to know about all of their rights to financial compensation.

Source: All Trucking, "Truck Driving Per Mile Salary," accessed April 20, 2018

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