The US desperately needs truck drivers. Unfortunately, the health and benefits of drivers across America have not been accounted for during this time of crisis.
“Truckers are our first responders.” says Todd Spencer, President and CEO of Independent Drivers Association. Every item on a shelf is delivered by a truck.
According to Spencer, 96% of all drivers work for a company that employees 20 drivers or less. For those businesses, relief funds have missed them completely.
Drivers are facing a tough time. Not only are they one of the most important industries during this time, but they are also fighting on the front lines of COVID-19. The fight they have is a tough one. With many working long hours to deliver their supplies to the lack of rest stops and supplies of their own to get them there.
Drivers are constantly moving between hot zones. From New York City to Los Angeles, drivers see the toughest parts of the country. They move through the most affected areas and still deliver their essential supplies on time.
If a driver is ill or contracts COVID-19, then they are to stay in quarantine in their truck for 3 days. If the symptoms worsen or are in fact COVID-19 then they are to seek emergency medical attention on their own.
Drivers’ rates are cut in half. This is a devastating blow to an already double hit industry. The first is from The Trucking crisis which had been ongoing since before the Pandemic, where the lack of skilled drivers had yet to make up for the truckers moving into retirement. The ones still on the road had to fill in the gaps all while facing stricter drive times and inspections.
The industry has had an improvement (if you want to call it that) by allowing truckers to drive well past the 8-hour restrictions. This means that now they are overworked, working long hours and receiving no additional benefits due to the lack of protections that they have.
On behalf of us here, we would like to say thank you to all drivers currently on the front lines against COVID-19. Your commitment is detrimental to supporting America. From all of us here, we wish you the safest travels and the utmost care.