Shortage of truck drivers could lead to more crashes
On behalf of Law Offices of Steven H. Dorne posted in Car Accidents on July 17, 2018.
Unemployment levels are at historic lows, but that is not necessarily always a good thing. The trucking industry is currently facing a crisis where there are conservatively estimated to be 63,000 open positions. This number is expected to double in the coming years.
This will impact the economy because nearly every product manufactured and consumed will be freight in a truck at some point. But the other part of this equation is the fact that trucking companies are struggling to meet demands, which can mean overworked drivers getting pushed past legal limits for safety.
Truckers pressured to work more
The trucking industry is of course regulated with many different safety protocols, but the difficulty of meeting the deadlines and timetables could prompt drivers to drive longer stretches than they are supposed to, sleep fewer hours before getting back behind the wheel, or to simply take on extra work that is offered to them. This can lead to drowsy or fatigued driving, which exponentially increases the chances of a crash.
Hard jobs to fill
Technology gurus point to the fact that driverless vehicles will be commonplace in the future, but this does little to address immediate needs. Trucking companies now offer higher pay, cover the cost for the 16-week accreditation courses for a commercial driver’s license, and provide signing bonuses. Nevertheless, the turnover rate is high due the unhealthy work environment of sitting for hours on end, poor sleeping habits and the time away from family.
Increasingly dangerous roads due to distractions
Many are concerned about the unsettling trend of distracted driving due to technology in vehicles, either as part of the vehicle or personal devices. Truckers are not immune to this. Unfortunately, they are behind the wheel of a vehicle many times the size of the average car. Accidents can mean a slight bump for the distracted truck driver, while innocent individuals can suffer life altering injuries or even death.
It is always advisable err on the side of caution and give large trucks a wide berth. If you are involved in an accident, it is important to seek medical help for your injuries. It is also helpful for victims in motor vehicle accidents involving semi-trucks to consult with a lawyer, particularly if they speak of overwork or exhaustion.