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Does the shortage of truck drivers put your life in jeopardy?

Considering the number of trucks you see traveling California's roadways with you, it might surprise you to know that the trucking industry is hurting for drivers. In fact, the industry needs around 50,000 more drivers in order to fill the vacancies and safely handle the transportation of goods around the country. Plus, as more older drivers decide to retire, the situation could get worse.

Why do you care about the fact that the trucking industry has a shortage of drivers? Because it means the drivers that are out there must make up for that deficiency. The drivers that are on the roads probably work long hours, don't get enough sleep, don't have adequate experience and put your life in danger because of it.

The current situation

The amount of goods requiring transport only continues to rise. Businesses want their goods, and they want them within a certain time frame in order to make them available to you and other consumers. Without an adequate number of qualified truck drivers, the ones out there have to take up the slack. People are not flocking to the industry despite increases in pay, benefits and more. The current statistics indicate that drivers between the ages of 20 to 34 only make up 20% of drivers.

Making things more of a challenge is the fact that those who do want to enter the industry must be at least 21 years old. If a high school graduate wanted to become a truck driver, he or she would have to wait approximately three years. During that time, they usually find another career direction and never get back to working in the trucking industry.

The safety concerns

Where does this leave the trucking industry? Unfortunately, it leads to companies lowering their standards when it comes to hiring drivers. They need to put bodies behind the wheel and may cut corners to do it. Inexperienced drivers tend to exhibit the following potentially dangerous driving habits:

  • A lack of knowledge and awareness of safety regulations and laws
  • A failure to understand the dangers of speeding
  • Improperly assessing traffic and weather-related hazards
  • A failure to properly check the truck's blind spots
  • A failure to pay attention to the guidelines regarding distracted driving

While any new driver could make these mistakes, those in passenger vehicles aren't responsible for safely navigating a vehicle that could weigh up to 80,000 pounds. This fact alone makes inexperienced truck drivers exponentially more dangerous to you. Of course, when these issues are added to those already experienced by the majority of truck drivers, such as fatigue, boredom and more, the problem only gets worse.

If you do end up in an accident caused by a truck driver, your injuries could keep you out of work for some time. Your recovery could require extensive and expensive medical and medical-related care. Under these circumstances, you may want to pursue the legal remedies at your disposal to seek the compensation you deserve.

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Ball, Bonholtzer & Evans
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