Commercial drivers in California, like those in other places, encounter various challenges due to regulatory requirements, traffic conditions, and logistical concerns.
Here are ten issues they often have to deal with almost daily:
#1—Commercial Drivers Must Deal with Traffic Congestion
California has some of the busiest highways in the United States, and three of the state’s eleven cargo ports are the busiest in the world.
Traffic congestion, particularly in and around urban areas like Los Angeles and San Francisco, can lead to delays and increased stress for commercial drivers.
California’s busiest ports, Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Oakland, are also located close to those urban areas, so drivers know they will face major traffic congestion getting to the port and back on the highway after they pick up their loads.
California has strict environmental regulations. Commercial drivers, especially those operating large trucks, must ensure their vehicles comply with emission standards.
Finding suitable parking for large commercial vehicles can be challenging, especially outside major urban areas. This challenge is particularly difficult for commercial drivers nearing their 8-hour mark driving before they must take a break, or the maximum hours of driving for the day, as mandated by the DOT FMCSA Hours of Service (HOS) rules.
#4—The High Cost of Living
The cost of living in California is among the highest in the United States. This can lead to financial stress for drivers, especially if their wages do not keep up with the cost of living.
Many novice drivers and those with moving violation convictions must often accept much lower wages per mile driven until they show they’re experience enough or the negligent operator treatment system (NOTS) and/or Compliance, Safety, & Accountability (CSA) severity points are removed from their record, usually after three years.
Although road quality varies across the state, some areas have roads in poor condition that can lead to vehicle damage or uncomfortable driving conditions.
#6—Long Work Hours & Long Periods Away from Home & Family
Long-haul commercial drivers often spend extended periods on the road, which can lead to fatigue, nutrition, and health issues.
Drivers must adhere to strict safety regulations, which can sometimes require them to rest when they prefer to keep driving.
Depending on the season and location within the state, drivers might have to navigate through fog, heavy rain, or wildfires, which can present significant safety hazards. This is especially true in winter, driving on the Donner Pass, the Grapevine, Sherman’s Pass, and others with extreme grades.
Keeping up with regular vehicle maintenance can be time-consuming and costly (on average, it costs $150,000 annually to maintain a truck and trailer), but quality preventive maintenance is crucial to ensuring the safety and efficiency of commercial vehicles.
The rapid advancement of technology, such as the advent of electric trucks and automated driving systems, can present challenges as drivers must adapt to new systems or potentially face job displacement.
The Consequences to Commercial Drivers When They Let These Issues Get to Them
When commercial drivers do not keep these issues in mind, bad things often happen. The worst is often road rage, which can be detrimental to the driver’s health even when they control it. Stress can be debilitating.
“If you're constantly under stress, you can have physical symptoms, such as headaches, an upset stomach, high blood pressure, chest pain, and problems with sex and sleep. Stress can also lead to emotional problems, depression, panic attacks, or other forms of anxiety and worry.”—WebMD.
Other undesirable consequences of ignoring these issues can be traffic violations that threaten your career and livelihood. However, Bigger & Harman, the California Traffic Ticket Defense Team, can help you resolve traffic ticket issues while you keep driving.
Consult with Bigger & Harman, APC, Today
When you have a commercial driver’s violation that must be resolved in Roseville, CA Traffic Court, call the Bigger & Harman Traffic Defense Team at (661) 349-9300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use our convenient contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation by phone, zoom, or email.
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The DMV Portal CA Commercial Driver Handbook.
The FMCSA CFR 49 Part 383.51, Driver Disqualifications.
The CA DMV NOTS portal.