Each day thousands of truck drivers hit the road; carrying everything from food to furniture to cars.
“Trucking is what makes America move,” said Jerome Coco. “Without truck drivers, America would be at a standstill.”
Coco has been a truck driver for more than two decades. He says it’s a job he takes very seriously.
“I’m allowed to drive 11 hours a day, so I’m going to drive 11 hours a day,” he said. “I’m not going to push it because I’m worth more than that, and there’s other people out there.”
Not everyone however shares Coco’s way of thinking.
Early Saturday morning, a Walmart truck driver slammed into actor and comedian Tracy Morgan’s limo bus along the New Jersey Turnpike.
Morgan is still recovering at a New Jersey hospital. His friend, comedian James McNair, was killed in the crash.
According to a criminal complaint, the driver, Kevin Roper, hadn’t slept for more than 24 hours.
Roper has since been charged with one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto.
“For guys to go out and do stuff like that, or fudge their logs or drive 24 hours in a day, that’s crazy because my life is on the line, everybody I know life’s on the line, your life is on the line, and we don’t need drivers like that out there on the road,” Coco added.
Some drivers say they’re hoping more companies will convert to electronic logging systems, which use GPS to track every move and hour of the driver.
“As soon as you start your day, the time starts and then if you stop, it tells you where you stopped and how long you stopped,” said truck driver, Ralph Dalessio.
Fellow truck driver Charles Payne added, “I’ve been out here since 1981; you don’t have to kill people to make money.”
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, truck drivers may drive for no more than 11 hours a day and work a total of no more than 14 hours.
They must also have at least 10 hours off duty in between working periods.