According to the American Trucking Association, trucking companies are short 60,000 drivers, a number which could go up to 100,000 over the next few years. The shortage is attributed to a high number of baby boomer retirements, an increase in freight demand, and high turnover. Trucking companies have tried to make the job more appealing to drivers, but the shortage remains. What does this shortage of truck drivers mean for other motorists on the road?
Proposed federal legislation has been introduced that would increase the pool of driver candidates. The DRIVE-Safe Act would make it legal for drivers age 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 drivers, as younger drivers 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.
With increased freight demand and fewer drivers, many drivers and trucking companies may be tempted to increase the number of hours on the road. While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has hours of service regulations, trucking companies may find ways around these regulations. This would lead to an increase in driver fatigue. Overworked and tired drivers are extremely dangerous on the road.
The shortage of truck drivers also means that trucking companies may try to cut corners and put unsafe drivers on the road as quickly as possible. With a smaller pool of drivers to choose from, companies may hire less experienced drivers with questionable driving records. Trucking companies with high demand may feel pressured to put someone behind the wheel even if they don’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 Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.