The Truck Driver Shortage Puts Everyone at Risk
Despite the fact that truck-driving jobs can now pay well above the median household income, America has a truck driver shortage. The demand for drivers versus the supply of drivers indicates that the country needs about 51,000 more drivers. The shortage is leading to a number of issues. Too few drivers result in longer shipping times and higher costs. With the growing amount of commerce coming through online merchants such as Amazon, the declining ability to ship products via road is coinciding with a growing demand to do exactly that. The result can be delayed deliveries and higher costs. But what does that mean for traffic safety?
High Driver Demand Plus Low Driver Supply Equals Drivers Driving Longer
The shortage of drivers has been the top concern in an industry survey for several years, with hours of service regulations governing how long per day truckers can drive ranking second after several years at the top of the survey.
Sure enough, the federal government is proposing changes to hours-of-service regulations that extend the amount of time truckers can spend driving per day. While these proposed rules changes are merely under consideration, if enacted they would result in more overworked truckers on the road. Trucks carry roughly 70 percent of all of the goods shipped in the U.S., and that percentage is not going down. A leading industry group expects the industry to continue growing in the coming years. The pressure on truck drivers is unlikely to go down anytime soon, and that pressure is likely to result in more accidents caused by overworked truckers.
What is Causing the Truck-Driver Shortage?
A combination of federal regulations, motor carrier standards, and the negative perception of the occupation has made it more difficult to recruit and retain new drivers. Truckers must first obtain a specialized driver’s license – known as a CDL, or commercial driver’s license – before they can get behind the wheel. Obtaining a CDL requires a considerable amount of training and is a costly proposition. Further, many applicants are rejected because of their personal history. While we might prefer to have truckers who have unblemished personal histories, we take to the roads every day with millions of people who are driving who could not qualify for a CDL.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle to hiring more truck drivers is the fact that the lifestyle is not very attractive. Drivers can be on the road for weeks at a time without returning home. While the money can be enticing, especially in recent years, the toll on your personal life can be daunting. All of these factors add up to a driver shortage that is straining the truck driver workforce in ways that endanger the rest of the driving population.
If You Have Been Injured in an Accident Involving a Commercial Truck, Contact a Miami Accident Attorney
The shortage of truck drivers increases the likelihood that truckers are driving fatigued or under pressure to maximize their time on the road, leading to a dangerous situation. If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, you should talk to an attorney who can review the details of your situation. Certain factors could be the difference between being able to recover damages for your injuries or simply accepting whatever your own insurance company is willing to pay. It is advisable to speak with a Miami truck accident attorney to talk about your options for recovering damages. Contact Flagler Personal Injury Group at (305) 424-8445 or through our online contact form. Flagler Personal Injury Group services the greater Miami area.
We handle a variety of cases, so call us now if you have any questions.
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