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The difficulties of the trucking industry

Trucking has for decades been one of the iconically American jobs. If the idea of a trucker comes to mind anywhere in the world, odds are people think of a biggish American man behind the wheel. How many other careers can that be said for?

Perhaps baseball players and the almost extinct cowboys, but there are few others.

The career, though, for all its semi-romantic Americana nature, is not the easiest in the world. There are many difficulties that come with taking to the long-haul road.

It can be dangerous, for instance. Tuckers are involved in a lot of accidents every year, which is, of course, to be expected, since they spend so many hours on the road. But the number of accidents is certainly increased by difficult deadlines that can require truckers to drive very long hours without enough sleep. Beyond this obvious danger, there is the less obvious potential for assault or robbery. Anyone who has passed by rest stops late at night knows they don’t always appear to be the safest or most pleasant places. While they have improved over the years, there is still some danger and discomfort to be expected there.

Another issue is the wages. While truckers make, on average, slightly more than the national average for a single earner, the strenuous nature of the job may mean that isn’t really enough. Truckers are away for days and weeks at a time, meaning families often can only have one earner, or else require extensive child care, which is, of course, quite expensive.

These strains have led to an entire business model that advances truckers their fees from recently delivered freight. This is called factoring, and the business appears to be thriving.

A final concern for truckers is the long-term viability of their work. While the truck and the trucker have long been mainstays on American roads, that era may soon be coming to a close. In fact, it may be sooner than many anticipate, and sooner than much many will be able to prepare for. Already, numerous companies are test-driving driverless cars, and many experts believe, at the current rate of advancement, that truckers may be left unemployed by automation within a decade. Even if that timeframe is optimistic, there is little doubt that the trajectory of the trucking industry is heading towards increasing automation, and so, lower wages and fewer jobs.

While Americans every day benefit from the work truckers do, the job, for all its necessity, does not in many respects show the level of that benefit. With unavoidable dangers, lowish wages, and a lack of long-term job prospects, trucking is not the most attractive business.

On some level, it may be worthwhile to demand more respect and better working conditions for those in the trucking industry, but it may also be argued such efforts are pointless since the job itself will soon be a relic of the past, just like the all American cowboy.

Common Sleeping Disorders

Sleeping is one of the few relaxing moments of adult life. This opportunity should be maximized to reinvigorate not just your brain, but your entire body. But there are people who are not able to maximize this opportunity because of sleeping disorders, putting them at risk of physical, emotional, and psychological problems.

Insomnia

When you think about sleeping problems, insomnia is probably the first thing that comes to your mind. This is understandable, because insomnia is one of the most common sleeping disorders in existence. Contrary to popular belief, Insomnia is not just about difficulty in sleeping.

It is also about the quality of your sleep. For example, if you wake up often in your sleeping hours or if you always feel like your sleep is not satisfying, you may have insomnia. This can have various effects on your body, such as fatigue, increased irritability, and poor cognitive skills.

Sleep Apnea

You are sure you heard that term before, but you don’t really know what it is. Sleep apnea occurs when a person pauses in breathing during sleep, mainly because of respiratory issues, such as blockage in the respiratory path.

This may result into snoring and choking sounds, and on worse instances, your brain may even be forced to wake you to address your breathing problem. According to the website of Silent Night Therapy, sleep apnea may lead to certain medical conditions, such as heart disease, hypertension, and even stroke.

Narcolepsy

Unlike insomnia and sleep apnea, narcolepsy is something you may not have heard of before. It is a condition where the brain has difficulty going through its sleep and wake cycle, so those who have this condition may experience sudden sleeping episodes in school, at the office, or even during intense activities such as driving and playing sports.

What makes narcolepsy more dangerous is the fact that it is often undiagnosed. Those with narcolepsy may experience extreme sleepiness despite having adequate sleep the prior night, difficulty in concentrating, and feelings of exhaustion.

The Importance of Social Security Disability Insurance

The Importance of Social Security Disability Insurance

Those who have been suddenly disabled because of an injury or complication have challenging lives. First, there are hospital bills and treatment costs to pay. Second, they may have limited capability to work and earn money. Third, their limited earning capacity may prevent them from getting their medical needs. And fourth, the disability may reduce their general enjoyment of life.

It is a good thing that there is a program such as SSDI. It stands for Social Security Disability Insurance, and its goal is to provide assistance to social security members who have been disabled and may have financial hardships.
It is important to note that not everybody can claim the benefits of SSDI. They should be eligible for it first, and typically, the eligibility is determined by certain factors, such as the following:

  • The person must be paying social security for a specific number of years
  • The injury or complication has really resulted into a disability

According to the website of the Chris Mayo Law Firm, disability benefits can be classified as short-term and long-term. Short-term benefits are for those whose disabilities are temporary, while long-term benefits are for those whose disabilities are long-lasting or permanent.

These benefits may be calculated differently, but they have one thing in common – the legal process involving them may be complicated, but there are legal representatives that can help you for that.

The important thing is that these benefits serve as a financial cushion for those whose earning capacity has been compromised because of a disability. In one perspective, it is a way for the Social Security Administration to give you compensation after years of contribution, and that is why only those who have contributed for a number of years are eligible for this insurance program. Social security can also be invested into diverse portfolio’s through a broker.

Sustaining an injury or complication that is enough to disable you is already stressful enough, but it becomes more stressful because of the financial burdens it brings, so it is good news that SSDI exists.

Truck Accidents and No-Zones

Truck accidents can be one of the most devastating incidents we can see in our roads. The mere size and weight of trucks are enough reasons for them to have greater impacts when compared to other vehicles like compact cars and sedans.

According to the website of Russo, Russo & Slania, P.C., truck accidents may involve drunk driving, mechanical defects and malfunctions, employer negligence, driver error or negligence, and no-zone accidents.

What makes no-zone accidents different from the others is that they are easily prevented by the diligence of the truck drivers and the other motorists around them who are aware of the dangers of a no-zone truck accident. To help prevent such accidents, you yourself should be knowledgeable of no-zones.

What are No-Zones?

Since trucks are enormous vehicles, they have the tendency to have blind spots, and these blind spots can be factors in triggering traffic accidents.

Front No-Zone

Most trucks have elevated cabs, and for this reason, their drivers may not be able to see things that are directly in front of them, like vehicles, motorcycles, and pedestrians. This space is called the front no-zone.

To prevent front no-zone accidents, truck drivers should always make sure that there is space between them and whatever it is in front of them. Other motorists should also be aware of the front no-zone, so they would avoid getting too close to the front side of the trucks.

Rear No-Zone

Most trucks do not have rearview mirrors, so drivers cannot always see what is directly behind them. Trailers can also be obstructions that prevent them to see the rear end of the truck. This blind spot is called the rear no-zone.

To avoid rear no-zones, truckers should always be mindful that such no-zones exist, and should take this into consideration when they are making decisions in the road. Other drivers should also avoid tailgating or being too close to the rear ends of trucks and trailers.

Side No-Zone

Trucks are long vehicles, and there is a possibility that their drivers do not have complete vision to their side lengths. Of course, side mirrors are there to help, but they are not always fully reliable especially on long vehicles like trucks, particularly in the passenger’s side.

It is still the truckers’ responsibility to be in a considerable distance with other vehicles, especially because of the no-zones, but other motorists should also be aware that no-zones exist to help truckers even more in preventing traffic accidents.

Uncovering The Causes of Truck Driver Error

Getting involved in a truck accident will almost always end up in a tragic manner. Given their sheer size, truck crashes can lead to serious injuries. It requires a great amount of skill on the part of the driver to be able to operate a large truck. According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, truck accidents can cause great damage and serious injuries to properties and individuals.

In a recent study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), driver error is ten times more likely to contribute to trucking accidents than other factors such as weather, road conditions, and vehicle performance. The study revealed the different factors that can make drivers make errors when operating their truck. The study came up with the following results:

  • 44% of drivers who were involved in accidents took prescription and over-the-counter drugs
  • 23% of drivers were traveling too fast for conditions
  • 18% were caused by driver fatigue

Fatigue is one of the major reasons drivers commit errors. When they are tired, they have the tendency to feel sleepy, lose focus on the road, misjudge gaps, ignore the signs of impending dangers, and others. While fatigue is one of the most common causes of truck accidents, it is also one of the most preventable. Truck companies must strictly follow the “hours of service rule” to ensure that truck drivers get sufficient rest and restorative sleep to safely drive trucks. The maximum allowable time for drivers to drive is 14 hours daily, wherein the driving time is a maximum of 11 hours.

If a driver figured in a truck accident as a result of their company violating the hours of service policy, the driver of the truck may file a lawsuit against their employer. In order to prove such violation, the driver’s log can prove to be a valuable piece of evidence.

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