In January 2019, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) said the United States would be short 175,000 truck drivers by 2026. The lingering effect of a truck driver shortage is not only an increase in grocery prices, but also an increased risk of truck accidents.
Seaport Global Securities LLC analyst Kevin Sterling told TheStreet that the current truck driver shortage could actually be “upwards of 100,000 or more.” Sky Harbor’s Director of Research Michael Salice wrote in a research note that industry experts feared the current shortage could triple by the year 2026.
Without enough truck drivers, many trucking companies are under greater pressure to find anyone capable of moving cargo – including drivers with little experience or spotty driving records. As the shortage continues to worsen, existing try drivers are only under greater stress to work even more hours than usual.
What Is Causing the Trucker Shortage?
The ATA told the Washington Post that it needed about 51,000 more drivers to meet demand from companies like Amazon and Walmart. The simple truth remains that the trucking industry has struggled to obtain and retain drivers to match its current needs.
The New York Times reported that the Transportation Department had sidelined multiple safety regulations and the White House was backing a pilot program allowing drivers under 21 to make interstate deliveries, which is currently forbidden by federal law.
While some companies have offered bonuses or other perks to younger drivers, the annual salary is often not enough to convince people who do not envision themselves as becoming accustomed to the life of being a truck driver.
How the Shortage of Truck Drivers Leads to More Crashes
Trucking companies that are short on drivers have to rely on the same ones over and over again. Federal law strictly limits the number of hours a driver can operate in a given day or week, but some trucking companies encourage their drivers to break these rules in order to complete deliveries.
Overworked truck drivers often become far more dangerous because they are usually fatigued. This leads to possible bouts of “drowsy driving,” a period in which truck drivers struggle to stay awake and alert.
The shortage of drivers also means that some trucking companies are willing to put unsafe drivers on the road. With a smaller pool of drivers to choose from, some companies are willing to hire inexperienced drivers and drivers who have had safety violations in the past.
How Can Tate Law Help Me?
Filing a personal injury claim after a commercial truck accident can be extremely complicated, but Tate Law Offices, P.C. can help you seek justice. Our firm understands the impact of the driver shortage and can investigate to determine if a trucking company possibly violated any state or federal regulations.
If you were seriously injured or your loved one was killed in a commercial truck crash in the greater Dallas area, call us right away. Our experienced personal injury lawyers can work to help you pursue all of the compensation you are entitled to.