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Stressed by Coronavirus, Truckers Look to Trump Administration for Relief

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The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has placed enormous stress on the nation’s army of interstate truckers, and now drivers are looking to the Trump administration for much-needed relief.

Truck Drivers “Essential” in Coronavirus Pandemic

Long-haul truck drivers have been deemed essential for the duration of the pandemic, as their work is vital to ensuring the supply chain continues to function while the majority of the United States remains under lockdown. But according to a letter sent to President Trump by the head of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, not enough is being done to protect their health and safety.

“Right now, professional drivers are busting their butts to care for the nation,” the letter states. “Their hard work and personal sacrifice should not include their health or even their lives if at all possible or preventable.”

If COVID-19 begins sickening interstate truckers, vital services could be at risk, including deliveries of gas and groceries, as well as supplies of personal protective equipment desperately needed by healthcare workers across the country.

Trucker Group Demands COVID-19 Testing, Quarantine Sites

“Once word spreads that drivers are testing positive, we could very well see a tremendous reduction in drivers willing to risk everything for the rest of us,” the letter continues.

The Association is asking the Trump administration to immediately ensure that three safeguards are made available to the nation’s truck drivers:

  • Access to masks and other personal protective equipment.
  • Rapid coronavirus testing along truck routes with the ability to provide results within hours.
  • A place for truck drivers to quarantine or seek treatment if they test positive for COVID-19.

Many Truckers Lack Health Insurance, Paid Time Off

There are close to two million truckers in the United States.

These workers are twice as likely to go without health insurance compared to the average American, and many lack paid time off.  They also have higher rates of smoking and diabetes, two known risk factors for potentially deadly coronavirus complications.

Unfortunately, it’s not clear what – if any – steps big trucking companies are taking to protect their drivers during this unprecedented public health crisis. According to Business Insider, Marten Transport – one of the largest trucking companies in the county – has actually refused to help sick truckers get home and even suggested they quarantine in their vehicles.

“If a driver is sick many are just taking a few days in their truck to assess their health and then return to work again because it isn’t Covid-19 they are experiencing but flu, colds, allergies etc.,” an HR representative wrote in an email to one driver who had sought the company’s help.

The Trump administration has already suspended vital safety regulations in an effort to hasten the delivery of goods and supplies to locked-down communities across the United States. So far, however, there’s been no response to demands that the administration do more to protect the health and safety of those providing these essential services.

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Our Undefeated Truck Accident Lawyers are monitoring the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic on commercial trucking and other vital industries and will continue to post updates as the situation develops.

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