Many issues can lead to tragic crashes the involve semitrucks, but many don’t realize that the shortage of truckers might be one of the most pressing that this country is facing. A driver shortage is the top concern overall in the trucking industry. This is primarily due to the fact that companies still have an urgent need to haul loads, but they might not have the people available to get those loads from point A to point B.
Unfortunately, the lack of drivers might push trucking companies to push their truckers to the limits. They must still comply with regulations, such as the Hours of Service; however, the company might have the trucker drive for the full time allowed when the trucker actually started feeling fatigued around hour eight. This puts a fatigued trucker on the road for the remainder of their shift.
One issue that is coming up now is that truckers are getting older, which can impact their energy level and ability to do long hauls that push the limits of the HOS regulations. Around 28 percent of truckers are 55 years old or older. Some have noted that the minimum trucking age should be lowered to 18 with an increase in required training so that fresh drivers can enter the industry. But, would this put younger, inexperienced drivers on the receiving end of having to drive long hours even when they are fatigued? Probably, because the shortage isn’t something that can be remedied quickly.
While finding a solution to the current trucking crisis isn’t going to be easy or fast, it is imperative that all truckers are encouraged to drive safely. A shortage of truckers shouldn’t be a factor in a single semitruck crash. When a crash does occur, victims do have the option of taking legal action, which could send a strong message to the industry as a whole.