Truck Driver Shortage Leads to Increased Accidents
Despite the fact that commercial truck drivers have received record pay increases over the past year, higher wages seem to have little impact on the industry-wide shortage of drivers. The industry will need to hire close to 900,000 drivers to meet the rising demands for consumer product deliveries, according to the American Trucking Association.
The shortage of drivers across the country is having an impact on the number of serious injury and fatal accidents involving trucks. Tired, overworked, inexperienced, and unqualified drivers pose a danger not only to themselves, but everyone else with whom they share the road.
What Is Causing the Trucker Shortage?
Commercial truck drivers work long hours in isolation, away from their family and friends. Their pay fluctuates based on the types of loads they haul and the number of miles that they drive.
With unemployment rates currently low, recruiting potential drivers becomes difficult as they turn to other industries with better working conditions and more stable pay.
The current workforce consists of predominantly middle-aged, male drivers. As these drivers retire, few people in the younger generations appear willing to take their place. That’s true even though it is relatively easy to obtain a commercial drivers’ license and the pay is better than many other jobs that also do not require a college degree.
It seems that the availability of jobs that offer a better, more stable lifestyle is having a significant impact on the industry.
How the Shortage of Truck Drivers Leads to More Crashes
The shortage of experienced drivers is a concern when it comes to public safety. The demand for materials and products to be transported quickly and efficiently with fewer truckers has pushed trucking companies to:
- Hire inexperienced and potentially unqualified drivers to operate vehicles. Trucking companies have already lobbied Congress, unsuccessfully, to lower the age of interstate truck drivers from 21 to 18. Companies have also been recruiting older individuals to try to fill their ranks, putting aging drivers behind the wheel to get the deliveries out.
- Violate Hours of Service rules that prevent truck driver fatigue
- Load vehicles with too much weight to get more products delivered in a single trip.
- Lobby for the rollback of safety regulations (like they did with the driver age limits) and target rules against driver sleep apnea, load limits, and others.
When companies put business concerns and profits over people’s safety, severe and possibly fatal accidents can occur. Individuals who are harmed due to negligence on the part of a driver, the company that employs them, or any other party that contributed to a truck crash have the right to take decisive legal action to hold the responsible parties accountable.
How Can Parnall Law Help Me?
The Albuquerque truck accident lawyers at Parnall Law are aware of what happens when trucking companies face pressure and strain. They often cut corners to keep their businesses profitable, which can be hazardous to the safety of others. If you were hurt in a truck accident caused by an unqualified, inexperienced, or overworked driver, we are here to help see that justice is served.
We’ll fight for the fair compensation you are owed. It’s our goal to help you put this accident behind you and move on with your life. Hurt? Call Bert. Our attorneys are ready to speak with you, so call us or contact us online today for a free consultation.