The truck driver shortage is a big concern in the U.S. right now. Qualified drivers are leaving the industry in hopes to find better pay, and more favorable working conditions.
According to a recent Forbes report, “Truck drivers move around 71% of the U.S. economy’s products across the country. The industry has lost 6% of its workers since the pandemic began and struggles to recruit. The industry needs at least 80,000 new truckers.”
But what does the shortage mean to other drivers on the road? Shipping companies may have to rely on unqualified truck drivers to move cargo, which automatically means commercial vehicles will be operated by untrained individuals who might have bad driving records or no experience.
Hours Of Service Rules May Be Broken
Having important cargo shipped by unprofessionals who have very little, or in the worst-case scenario, no experience can be very dangerous for other drivers on the road, but what also exacerbated the shortage situation is the fact that the remaining trained drivers are encouraged, even expected to break their service of hours rules.
According to Truck Insure, “Each duty period lasts 14 hours, which is known as the 14-hour rule. Drivers can drive for up to 11 hours during the duty period. However, after driving for eight hours, the driver must take a break of at least 30 minutes.” Breaking these rules means that we’re left with exhausted drivers on the road which puts the truck driver, and thousands of other individuals on the road at great risk.
More precisely, “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that every year about 100,000 police-reported, drowsy-driving crashes result in nearly 800 fatalities and about 50,000 injuries.” notes the NSC.
Another factor that may contribute to compromised safety is truck maintenance. More precisely, if the driver has not been properly trained on how to take care of the vehicle, the odds of malfunctions become significantly higher, which of course can create even more complications. Therefore, many fleet management companies like https://migway.com/ pay high attention to training drivers to avoid such situations.
What To Do In Case Of An Accident
In case an accident does occur, one of the first things one is encouraged to do is make sure everyone involved in the crash is okay. Carefully check if anyone is hurt and immediately contact emergency services if possible. After you have made sure everyone is alright, get yourself and your vehicle out of danger.
After you contacted the police and gathered important information, make sure to also seek legal representation as soon as possible. No matter how minor the incident might be, a lawyer can be of great help; by using a car accident settlement calculator, he or she will be able to determine how much you should be compensated for all the damages.
The combination of long hours, exhaustion, and inadequate training creates a very imperfect situation for the driving industry at the moment, but the good news is, there are solutions on the way. Major companies are increasing pay, and creating more favorable working environments for new recruits, which means danger on the roads should decrease in the months and years to come.