Is the Truck Driver Shortage Causing More Accidents? 

The truck driver shortage has had many effects, the most significant of those effects being the safety of the driving public due to the shortage's role in elevating the risk of trucking accidents.

 

Is The Truck Driver Shortage Causing More Accidents?

Posted by The Roth Firm on Sep 29, 2019 1:53:00 PM

Who doesn't love Amazon Prime?

No matter where you are in the country, if you are a Prime member who buys a Prime-eligible item, it will be at your doorstep in two days.

Gone are the days of having to get in your car and go to malls and big-box retail stores to buy the things you need. Now you can buy anything you can imagine, and even things you'd never imagine, from the comfort of your home.

And it'll be in your possession in two days.

That's an amazing accomplishment that we don't appreciate nearly enough.

Another thing that is often underappreciated is how those packages get from the distribution centers to our doorsteps.

Without truck drivers, Amazon Prime wouldn't exist.

However, there's an increasing shortage of truck drivers that has been plaguing the trucking industry.

Various factors are contributing to the shortage, and the results have had far-reaching impacts on the American public.

It has resulted in delayed deliveries, an increase in shipping prices, and an elevated risk of truck accidents on the U.S. roadways.

In the article below, we'll take a look at how the truck driver shortage came to be and how it could be responsible for an increase in trucking accidents.

Table Of Contents

 

There are several factors contributing the the truck driver shortage

What's Causing The Truck Driver Shortage?

The shortage of commercial truck drivers in the United States has stemmed from several issues.

The first factor is the owner-operator business model and the costs that come with it.

Many companies hire truck drivers as independent contractors under the owner-operator model.

In this model, the trucker buys his truck under a lease-to-own deal with the company.

These deals come with high upfront costs for the truckers who are also responsible for the maintenance, fuel, and insurance costs for the truck.

This often leaves the truckers with a minimal income once they've covered all of their costs, presenting a significant economic barrier to those who might want to break into the industry.

The lifestyle is also a turn off for many would-be truck drivers. Truckers are away from home for long periods, spending the bulk of their time on the road.

This isolates them from family and friends and often leads to feelings of loneliness.

Not everyone is cut out to live that lifestyle and is a significant obstacle to overcome when recruiting new truckers to enter the industry.

he trucking industry is also a very male-dominated industry. Only about 6% of truckers are female, while females make up over half of the overall workforce.

The persistent stereotype that trucking is better suited for males is another obstacle that can limit the pool of commercial truckers in the United States.

Some recruitment strategies that companies use, which may specifically target males, is also another hurdle the industry has to overcome.

There's also more truck drivers retiring than there are entering the workforce.

The average age of an American trucker is 55 years old, many of who are planning to retire in the near future.

With a lack of qualified young drivers entering the industry and taking the available jobs, it is expected that the truck shortage will last another 10 to 20 years.

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How The Truck Driver Shortage Could Be Elevating The Risk Of Commercial Truck Accidents

The truck driver shortage has had many effects, the most significant of those effects being the safety of the driving public due to the shortage's role in elevating the risk of trucking accidents.

The trucker shortage has contributed to a higher risk of commercial truck accidents due to factors like:

Inexperienced Hires: With the need for new drivers on the rise, some companies are relaxing their hiring requirements, allowing under-qualified applicants to fill open positions.

In some cases, trucking companies may even cut corners during the hiring process, turn a blind eye to poor driving records, or fail to verify a truckers credentials.

All of this results in inexperienced drivers ending up behind the wheel of large, complicated commercial trucks.

The lack of experience is likely to end up with an increased risk of truckers mishandling their trucks, failing to comply with regulations, or failing to maintain their trucks properly.

That all leads to an increased risk of trucking accidents.

Rigorous Delivery Schedules: With fewer truckers available to haul loads, the available truckers have to work more demanding schedules.

The truck drivers are often forced to work unrealistic schedules to maximize profits and ensure that deliveries are made on time.

This often leads to truck drivers violating hours-of-service laws in an effort to keep up with their daunting schedules.

Overloaded Trucks: When there are fewer truck drivers to go around, you try to fit as much as possible into one truck.

This presents a higher risk of accidents because overloaded trucks are much more difficult to maneuver, especially for the inexperienced truck drivers.

Overloaded trucks are also far more likely to experience dangerous equipment failures, like tire blowouts and brake failures.

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The truck driver shortage is likely causing accidents on the road

The Truck Driver Shortage And The Risk For Accidents

When it comes to the truck driver shortage in the U.S. and its role in increasing the risk of wrecks, there are steps that trucking companies can take to overcome the deficit.

Hiring inexperienced truckers, having unrealistic delivery schedules, and overloading trucks are not appropriate solutions.

When these forms of negligence cause wrecks, the victims will have legal options for holding the negligent parties liable and seeking financial recovery.

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Have You Been Injured In A Trucking Accident?

If you've been injured in a trucking accident, there's a good chance the truck driver shortage could have caused it.

To prove this, you will need to prove negligence on the part of the truck driver or the company that employs him.

And to do that, you need to hire an experienced truck accident attorney.

The lawyers at The Roth firm have years of experience and expertise helping truck accident victims just like you.

They're ready to help you today.

Click the button below to get started.

Free Truck Accident Consultation

Topics: truck driver shortage

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