LAS VEGAS, Nevada. According to U.S. News & World Report, the trucking industry moved almost 10 billion tons of goods in 2014. By 2026 this number is expected to grow by 29 percent. Despite this growth, the trucking industry is one area where job offers are plentiful and the pay offers workers access to a stable middle class lifestyle. While trucking is not for everyone, the abundance of jobs has drawn a new kind of worker to the industry—the retiree looking for a second career. In fact, the trucking industry is having difficulty drawing younger drivers. This means that the average truck driver is older. According to U.S. News & World Report, the average age for truck drivers is 47 years old. According to Forbes, the truck industry will need over 800,000 new truck drivers through 2025 to keep goods moving across the country.

Yet, does an aging trucking workforce pose safety risks? As truckers age, they may be taking more medications which could potentially interfere with their ability to drive or remain awake behind the wheel. Truckers are subject to the same kinds of dangerous drug interactions that older individuals are at risk of experiencing. However, most older Americans are not behind the wheel of an 80,000 pound vehicle when they experience a poor response to a prescription drug. However, very young drivers also pose a risk—inexperience.

The industry also faces issues with recruiting because not everyone is fit for the job. The work requires long hours, weeks away from home, and for some, the loneliness is too much to handle. The job can be physically demanding, requiring workers to lift and carry heavy loads. Not everyone finds the lifestyle appealing.

But according to Forbes, for some, the idea of getting paid to hit the open road is a dream come true. Older Americans who can’t afford to buy the RV are instead choosing to drive a truck. More Americans over 50 are choosing to retire and start a second job as a truck driver. While the vast majority are men, some women are also choosing to join the industry.

Most truckers are hard-working individuals who make sure our goods are delivered on time. However, truck companies sometimes place unreasonable demands on their workers, requiring them to exceed federal hours of service laws. Companies sometimes cut safety corners to preserve their bottom lines, resulting in innocent people on the road being hurt. As the trucking industry ages, workers may need more robust medical screenings to ensure they are fit to drive. If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident, contact the accident lawyers at George R. Fusner Jr. in Nashville. Our firm works closely with victims and families to help them seek justice. As the trucking industry ages, the industry will need to adapt to protect the safety of the general public. However, when accidents happen, victims have rights. Visit today to learn more and to seek justice.