Truck driver shortage may lead to dangerous road conditions
Driving a truck has always been a difficult job. Long hours away from the family is only one drawback. Many truckers have difficulty sleeping scheduled hours. There is often no ability to get exercise. There is stress in trying to meet deadlines while following strict federal regulations.
Now, there is an additional burden — the lack of available drivers.
Transportation companies facing a national shortage of drivers
According to a recent article in the Washington Post, the trucking industry currently has 63,000 open positions. There may be even more. Because there are not enough applicants to fill open trucking positions, transportation companies have raised wages and recruited people who they would not have otherwise. For example, companies may hire convicted felons, drivers past usual retirement age and applicants with no previous experience.
What affect does this have on driver safety?
There’s nothing wrong with higher wages and more people able to find jobs, of course. But the large shortage of drivers may also bring downsides.
Many delivery-based and online companies are feeling pressure to move goods quickly. Amazon, Walmart and others have already indicated that rising transportation costs and delays are an area of concern.
This can lead to even more pressure on truck drivers to get their goods delivered on time. That could mean less sleep, driving faster and additional stress. It could provide incentive for transportation companies to overload cargo to unsafe levels. There could be more inexperienced drivers handling long and grueling routes. These factors could mean more injuries for truckers and others on the road, as well as an increased need for experienced Los Angeles truck accident lawyers.