Arizona Truck Accident Lawyer Reacts to John Oliver Trucking Episode

This video features Ryan Skiver, a Personal Injury attorney based in Arizona.

Scottsdale 18-Wheeler Accident Attorney Breaks Down The Issues

Video Transcript:

Ryan Skiver: 

If there aren't limits on what they can do, these companies will push them further.

Tom Mustin: 

With supply chains backed up all over the world, the vital role the trucking industry plays has received increased attention. Are the drivers being pushed beyond safety limits, and if so, who's doing the pushing? We're gonna talk to attorney Ryan Skiver about that, on today's episode of Ask the Lawyer. Ryan, thank you for joining us.

Ryan Skiver: 

Thank you for having me.

Tom Mustin: 

Well, on the John Oliver Show, John talked about the issues with the trucking industry, and why there are shortages of drivers here in the US. What effect is this having on traffic safety?

Ryan Skiver: 

Absolutely. I was able to watch that. It was very accurate, from what I've seen throughout the industry. Actually, there's been an increase recently, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the number of crashes that have occurred. There are a lot of inexperienced truck drivers out there, unfortunately. And the claims that there is a shortage in drivers, unfortunately, often relates to the fact that these companies aren't willing to pay these drivers more, which is very unfortunate. They actually have been referred to as basically sweatshops on wheels. It's really sad, because these workers are doing everything they can to support their families, but they're getting pushed by these companies who just wanna make more and more money. I mean, there's... Some of the big trucking companies out there make billions of dollars a year, and these poor drivers are put into horrible situations where they have to choose between safety and keeping their job or getting paid. And unfortunately, it makes it dangerous for all of the rest of us out there on the roadways as well.

Tom Mustin: 

And Ryan, a lot of times these drivers are paid by the mile rather than the hours. Tell us why that can be so dangerous, not only for the truck driver, but for the general public as well.

Ryan Skiver: 

Absolutely. It can be dangerous for everyone, because when you have that incentive of covering more mileage in less time, generally, you're gonna be speeding more and taking more risks. And so, truck drivers who are being paid by the mile may often think, "The more miles I can get in in a shorter amount of time, the better." Whereas, if they're paid hourly, they're gonna be much more conscientious of safety issues and making sure that they are really taking into consideration that they should be following all of those safety rules and laws that they're supposed to. So the companies, unfortunately, put them into uncomfortable situations and unfortunate situations by putting them in that situation with the pay-per-mile employment.

Tom Mustin: 

And along the same lines, John actually was talking about how these drivers, a lot of times, are being pushed to continue driving, even though they've said they're tired. Has that been true in your experience too as well?

Ryan Skiver: 

It certainly has, with some of our cases that we've handled. There are what are called hours of service, which we refer to as safe driving hours, which basically sets out the amount of time that these truck drivers can be on the road awake and driving, because it is a stressful job that takes a lot of attention. And if there aren't limits on what they can do, these companies will push them further. And unfortunately, even some of these companies, with the limits, will push them further and further. So you have drivers out there who are doing everything they can to stay awake, and that puts the rest of the motoring public and themselves in danger. And their main concern, obviously, is making sure that they don't lose their job, so they can keep making money and feed their families. So it's an unfortunate situation that they're put in, and that risks the lives and safety of everyone else on the roadways as well.

Tom Mustin: 

So Ryan, as an experienced trucking attorney, what changes do you think need to take place to keep the trucker safe, keep the general public safe, and also keep the supply chains open?

Ryan Skiver: 

I think one of the main things that we can do as a society is to enforce those safety rules that are already in place. We have enough safety rules right now to make sure those hours of service are complied with. But there's the other avenue, because we don't have enough government workers to be able to enforce all of them, of cases where people get injured or killed because of this. So if juries will actually hold them accountable and make them pay when they do those types of things in the future, it would be the goal that, obviously, that would prevent it. That's why we have the civil justice system as well, to make sure that these companies and these drivers learn from the violations that are occurring, to make sure that they don't happen again.

Tom Mustin: 

Well, Ryan, it certainly is a timely topic. We really appreciate your expertise. And thank you so much for joining us.

Ryan Skiver: 

Thank you for having me.

Tom Mustin: 

And that's gonna do it for this episode of Ask the Lawyer. My guest has been Ryan Skiver. If you wanna ask Ryan a question about your situation, call the number on the screen. Thanks for watching. I'm Tom Mustin, for AskTheLawyers.

Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.


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