Can the Truck Driver Shortage Affect Safety?
According to the American Trucking Association, trucking companies are facing a shortage of approximately 60,000 drivers, a number which could go up to 100,000 over the next few years. The driver shortage has been attributed to a high number of baby boomers retiring, an increase in freight demand, and high driver turnover. Trucking companies have been trying to make the job more appealing, but the shortage remains. What does this truck driver shortage mean for other motorists on the road?
Proposed federal legislation has been introduced that would potentially increase the pool of driver candidates. The DRIVE-Safe Act aims to make it legal for drivers aged 18 years old and over to drive trucks in interstate commerce. This lowers the current minimum age of 21 years old. This can be dangerous to other motorists as younger drivers may have less experience on the road and are more likely to drive recklessly. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teens. Teens are more likely to be distracted and more likely to take risks on the road which can be especially dangerous if they are driving a large commercial truck.
Longer Hours on the Road
With increased freight demand and fewer drivers, many drivers and trucking companies may be tempted to increase the number of hours trucks are on the road. While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has hours of service regulations, trucking companies may try to find ways around these regulations. This could lead to an increase in driver fatigue. Overworked and tired drivers are extremely dangerous on the road.
Inexperienced Drivers Behind the Wheel
The shortage of drivers also means that some trucking companies may try to cut corners and put inexperienced drivers on the road as quickly as possible. With a smaller pool of drivers to choose from, companies may be tempted to hire less experienced drivers with questionable driving records. Trucking companies with high demand may feel pressured to put someone behind the wheel even if that person doesn’t have the necessary qualifications to operate a large commercial truck safely. This could have dangerous consequences as an inexperienced driver is more likely to cause an accident.
Contact an Experienced Florida Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you may need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we’ve been helping the injured for over 30 years. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.