The average age of truck drivers is now 49 and the industry has faced a driver shortage for some years. In addition to the shortage, there is also a high turnover rate in this industry. Part of the problem appears to be related to working conditions. Truck drivers earn an average of $40,260 annually, spend a long time away from families and have a stressful job. They also work long hours at a dangerous and demanding job. All of this may be preventing new drivers from entering the profession. It may also be contributing to turnover rates.
The driver shortage is a serious one, with some estimates suggesting the unmet need amounts to about 100,000 commercial drivers.
How Serious is it?
The shortage may mean current drivers face additional pressure to drive more and for longer or to haul larger cargo. When there aren’t enough drivers to drive commercial trucks, big rigs, and tankers, current drivers may be pressured to drive longer hours, even though studies have shown fatigued driving is a contributor to truck accidents.
In addition, the trucking industry is facing pressure to take more cargo on each shipment because there simply aren’t enough truck drivers for larger numbers of smaller shipments. Larger trucks have been linked to greater risk of rollovers and more pressure on the roads as well as a higher accident rates. Obviously, the shortage of drivers can mean a bigger risk of truck and car accidents in Homestead and other communities.
Changes are Coming
The truck industry is trying to make changes to bring in more drivers and to make the roads potentially safer. For example, some truck companies are working to improve benefits for current drivers to encourage them to remain in the industry. This may include more time off or more safety- and performance-based incentives. Some truck companies are also offering opportunities for new drivers, including more options for career advancement and even free training.
While it is hoped that these changes will help encourage new drivers and take some of the pressure off of current drivers, there is still a significant driver shortage and it can be affecting your safety on the roads.
If you have been in a trucking accident in Homestead or any South Florida community, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free case evaluation. In a free, no obligation consultation, our attorneys can review the details of your case and can help you understand whether you have a claim and how much that claim may be worth. Our compassionate attorneys can help guide you every step of the way if you do decide to file a claim and we will fight aggressively for your rights to fair compensation.