What the nation’s growing shortage of truck drivers could mean for road safety
Our nation is currently facing a shortage of qualified truck drivers, and it’s a trend that’s been getting worse over the past 15 years. According to the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the United States came up approximately 51,000 truck drivers short in 2017 – up from a shortage of 36,000 in 2016 – and they expect that number to be even higher in 2018, despite the fact that some trucking companies are increasing wages (in some cases giving double-digit raises) and allowing drivers more time off. As the economy continues on an upswing while unemployment is hitting all-time lows, it’s getting more and more difficult for transportation companies to find new drivers.
The ATA estimates that more than 70% of goods consumed in the U.S. are transported via truck, and as that rate continues to increase, so will the gap between the demand for goods and the number of truckers to transport them. While the main focus of the trucker shortage has been its effect on retail and consumer goods (with companies raising prices to cover increased shipping costs), it’s also important to highlight the risks resulting from the shortage as well.
What does this shortage mean for the rest of us on the road?
The shortage of truckers is already affecting your everyday commute, you may just not have noticed it yet. As the shortage of qualified drivers has worsened, we have started to see safety issues arise resulting in serious injuries and even death because there are fewer experienced, qualified drivers on the road. In addition, as transportation companies try to get as much as they can out of each truck, it’s likely we will start to see more accidents caused by overloaded tractor trailers.
What to do if you are injured in a large truck accident
It’s important to realize that an accident with a semitruck or similar large commercial vehicle is different than an accident involving passenger vehicles (i.e., car, pickup truck, motorcycle, etc.). This is because semitrucks are usually insured under one or more commercial policies which cover both the driver and the trucking company.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandates that semitrucks be insured under their policies, which are much more comprehensive.
If you or a loved one was injured as a result of an accident with a semitruck or other large commercial truck, GreeningLaw P.C. can help. Our team is committed to the success of your case from day one. From our free initial consultation to the settlement of your case, we provide practical, caring support for you and your family. And because our lawyers only work on a contingency basis, you only have to pay attorney fees if you are compensated for your case.
Contact GreeningLaw P.C. today to schedule your free consultation today.
We fight the legal battle so you have time for healing and renewal.
- Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2015. (2017, March 03). Retrieved June 22, 2018, from https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/data-and-statistics/large-truck-and-bus-crash-facts-2015
- Long, H. (2018, May 21). The U.S. doesn’t have enough truckers, and it’s starting to cause prices of about everything to rise. Retrieved June 22, 2018, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/05/21/america-doesnt-have-enough-truckers-and-its-starting-to-cause-prices-of-about-everything-to-rise/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.d83b22566cfa
- Raphelson, S. (2018, January 09). Trucking Industry Struggles With Growing Driver Shortage. Retrieved June 22, 2018, from https://www.npr.org/2018/01/09/576752327/trucking-industry-struggles-with-growing-driver-shortage