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The following interview with Steve Laird is excerpted from an article published in the Dallas Business Journal about the impact of rising fuel costs on truck drivers and highway safety. You can read the complete article here.
Skyrocketing fuel costs mean highways will be less safe, according to Fort Worth-based personal injury attorney Steve Laird of Steven C. Laird, P.C.
"Some independent drivers -- who own their trucks and must pay their own fuel bills while contracting out their hauling services -- will drive longer hours to earn the same amount of money they made before fuel escalated. That's despite U.S. law limiting the number of hours truckers can legally drive", Laird said.
"The unfortunate reality is that drivers are faced with economic challenges, and when you have rising fuel prices, as we are seeing, it tends to add significant risk in how they operate their trucks," he said.
He predicts an increase in accidents.
"Drivers are forced to choose between keeping their vehicle in good repair and safe operating condition or paying for fuel," he said.
"There are many good truck drivers, but some try to push the envelope," Laird said. "Rising fuel prices add another dynamic in which those pushing the envelope are going to not only push it further, but probably too far. It's a sweatshop on wheels."
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