It is no surprise to anyone in the commercial trucking industry that the current shortage of qualified drivers is creating problems. The driver shortage has pushed companies and drivers to the limit, increasing everything from shipping time and costs, to the numbers of truck accidents that occur today, as companies attempt to keep their deliveries on schedule. Trucking accident lawyers are also seeing the results of this shortage in the increased number of truck accident cases they see. Yet the question remains, how should the driver shortage be handled? It is a question the entire industry is asking.
Driver Shortages Cause Unsafe Conditions
A shortage of truck drivers is currently causing many problems in the trucking industry, but of all the concerns, safety issues are paramount. Due to arguments over different pay methods, the increasing restriction of driver hours, and many other things, drivers are leaving the trucking industry in droves - with fewer entering the industry in return. The fact that drivers remaining in the industry are rapidly aging, with no replacements in sight, the lack of drivers is a huge problem that is beginning to affect notonly the trucking industry, but all other industries that rely on commercial carriers.
This has left many companies in a position where they need to hire any drivers they can find, who will work within the limitations. The result in many cases is companies hiring inexperienced drivers that have little training, and some companies feeling forced to turn a blind eye to driver records, and compliance to federal commercial carrier rules, in order to stay ahead. This - combined with drivers being rushed through what little required training actually exists for big rig drivers - is an environment that promotes unsafe conditions, leading to truck accidents, and costing everyone money in the long run.
What Can Be Done About the Driver Shortage?
The concern is industry-wide, and everyone from commercial carrier organizations to federal lawmakers are involved, trying to determine the best ways to get more drivers back on the roads. Current controversies over pay policies are a heated issue, as are the continued restriction of driver hours being enforced - which have definitely helped reduce accidents caused by driver fatigue and other related reasons.
Addressing the shortage will not be easy, and it must be done from the standpoint of not only attracting more drivers, but the right drivers. There must be an emphasis on providing the right training to those entering the profession, and then making the profession more attractive to populations that see nothing attractive about it - including younger people, women, and military members returning from deployment.
Making Trucking A More Desirable Career
Before any of these potential drivers can receive the right training, the profession must be more desirable as a whole, to attract these individuals. Trucking accident lawyers suggest this means federal and industry regulations regarding work hours and conditions, fair pay for everyone, and required training to keep drivers - and everyone else on the roads - more safe. Increasing the driver pool is going to take a lot, from multiple angles, but these changes are a necessary step toward having a more stable commercial carrier industry in America.
As commercial carrier organizations and professionals, truck drivers, and trucking accident lawyers all seem to agree, the problem is not going to just go away without a major overhaul of the industry. In actuality, with the demand for commercial carriers increasing, and fewer trucks and drivers to serve it, the situation seems to be coming to a head. By using the right ideas for improving trucking industry efficiency, and keeping only the most qualified drivers on the road, companies and consumers alike will hopefully benefit in the near future. With more stabilized costs, ethical pay structures, and fewer truck accidents, the commercial trucking industry can still be one that drivers new and old can be proud to be a part of!
Pearland, Pasadena, Webster, League City, Webser, Manvel, Alvin, Friendswood, La Marque, Texas City, and Galveston
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (281) 408-2190