If you’ve had problems finding items on your grocery store shelves, or your online deliveries aren’t arriving at your home as quickly as they did before, the nationwide shortage of truck drivers is largely to blame. But this problem is much more than an inconvenience – it’s playing a role in devastating truck accidents that lead to life-altering injuries and tragic deaths.
Sand Law attorneys have helped truck accident victims get the money they deserve to pay for medical bills, lost wages and other expenses resulting from this type of collision. We’ll work passionately to do the same for you. If you would like to schedule a free review of your case, please give us a call at 651-291-7263 or contact us online.
How did things get this bad? Why has the truck driver shortage become such a serious problem in the United States, and what are the consequences? This blog will answer these and other essential questions regarding this national crisis.
Understanding the Truck Driver Shortage
The root cause of the shortage is pretty simple to understand. Truck drivers are getting older, and there aren’t enough young drivers to take their place. The trucking industry is finding it incredibly hard to attract younger people to fill the spots created by retirement.
When you think about the life of a trucker, it might make it easier to understand why younger people are looking for other professions. Truck drivers largely live isolated lives, away from friends and family members for weeks at a time. A lot of younger people simply want to work in better conditions.
Even though there are plenty of trucking companies offering plenty of incentives, they’re still having difficulty.
Effects of the Truck Driver Shortage
There are a lot of factors that are making the truck driver shortage. It’s not just a supply-and-demand problem. It’s also a public safety problem. Here are just a few of those factors.
More Inexperienced Truck Drivers Hired
Truck drivers already follow some dangerous habits on a regular basis, even when they’ve been behind the wheel for years. When more inexperienced drivers are on the road, that’s simply a recipe for disaster. But trucking companies are desperate, so they’ll bring on people regardless of the amount of experience they have.
Driving a truck is an extremely complex undertaking – it’s much harder than you might think. Many younger drivers simply lack the ability to understand how to drive a huge commercial truck. They’re also, in many instances, not getting the training they need.
Lots of young drivers, for example, don’t know how much stopping distance they need in order to avoid hitting other vehicles. They’re not sure how to handle their trucks on steep hills, or don’t have a good feel for a truck’s turning radius. They also have a harder time navigating through traffic, or in hazardous weather conditions.
More Demanding Delivery Schedules
Consumer demand for products isn’t decreasing – it continues to increase exponentially. This increased demand means more pressure on drivers as well as trucking companies. The person behind the wheel of that delivery truck you see might have been driving for 20 hours straight. Even though this is in clear violation of Federal laws regulating trucker hours, they and their bosses feel they have no choice.
The more demanding a trucker’s schedule, the more fatigue that driver will experience. When you combine fatigue with inexperience, the chances of making a devastating mistake rise dramatically.
The increased demand for goods will often lead to trucks carrying too much cargo. This can increase the likelihood of a horrible rollover accident that can be deadly, not only for motorists but also the truck drivers themselves. Something as simple as making a routine turn can quickly be catastrophic.
Trucking Companies Avoiding Warning Signs
Whether through desperation or simply placing profits above people, trucking company executives will often look the other way when hiring drivers. They’ll either bring them in with no experience whatsoever, or they’ll hire drivers with driving records that are spotty at best. These practices make it even more dangerous for anyone sharing the road with a huge semi.
What to Do if You’re Involved in a Truck Accident
Knowing how to safely share the road with a huge commercial truck is more important than ever before. But no matter how many precautions you may take, a collision can still occur.
One of the most important things you can do if you’re in a truck accident – as terrifying an experience as it may be – will be to stay as calm as you possibly can. Take notes, if possible, and record everything that led to the wreck. Was the truck swaying? Was the driver following you too closely, or going too fast? These notes can go a long way toward proving your case – increasing the chances you’ll obtain fair compensation as a result.
Who’s Liable for Your Truck Accident During a Shortage?
Even during times where there were plenty of drivers, trucking accidents occurred at an alarming rate. When you factor in all the consequences of a driver shortage, the chances of an accident are even greater.
There are a lot of potential avenues that truck accident victims may be able to pursue in order to obtain compensation. The first, of course, will be the driver. If that person was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or was driving negligently, then they will be liable for your accident-related expenses.
But there are other parties that may share liability. The trucking company could be liable because it forced the driver to operate the rig far too long, violating Federal regulations as a result. The company that loaded the truck could have done a negligent job, causing the load to shift during transit and leading to a rollover.
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
It takes a skilled attorney to perform a thorough investigation into a truck accident, gathering the proof a victim needs to prove their case, and to also determine all parties liable for the wreck. The attorneys with Sand Law have that skill and experience. Learn more about how we may be able to help by calling 651-291-7263 or contacting us online for a free consultation.