Garden City, NY- We rely on tractor-trailers to transport the majority of our food and other good, but the U.S. is experiencing a shortage of truck drivers. The American Trucking Association estimates that the industry is experiencing a shortage of about 25,000 truck drivers which is expected to swell to over 200,000 by 2020. Unless you are in the trucking industry you probably haven’t noticed the shortage nor realize how it affects you, but it does and it comes at the costs of your safety in a number of ways.
These shortages are due to a number of reasons. For one, many of the drivers currently on the road are retiring and there aren’t enough young people to replace them. Some are reluctant to enter the industry because they don’t like to be away from for days on end. There is also the issue of driver pay and federal regulations that limit the number of hours drivers are allowed on the road each day.
One way the trucking industry has proposed to address this shortage is to allow teen drivers to transport goods across states lines. Under federal regulations, only truck drivers over the age of 21 are allowed to travel out of state to deliver goods, but the trucking industry would like to drop that age to 18 in order to attract more drivers.
That may seem like a good idea to some, but in reality teens and motorists under the age or 21 are the most risk adverse drivers on the road. According to the Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, in 2013 drivers between the ages of 18 and 20 had a fatal accident involvement rate 66 percent higher that drivers over the age of 21.
How drivers are paid also affect road safety. Most consumers don’t realize that drivers are paid by the mile, not the hour. That means drivers are getting paid for sitting in traffic, when their vehicles breakdown or waiting at a warehouse or business while their trucks are being loaded or unloaded. This puts immense pressure on drivers who might be compelled to take risks, like speeding, to get to their destination more quickly.
A newly introduce Senate bill calls for drivers to be paid by the hour in an effort to attract for drivers and eliminate risky driving behaviors.
Driver shortages also mean that there are less experienced drivers on the road, some of which don’t have the skills to avoid a collision. This could be combatted by requiring more on the road training for drivers.
In reality, the majority of truck drivers place a premium on safety and are very good drivers, but there are a few bad apples in the bunch and innocent motorist are killed, maimed and seriously injured as a result.
Truck accident victims in New York rightfully expect a negligent truck driver to be responsible for their injuries of loss of a loved one. To ensure you get the full amount of compensation you are entitled to USAttorneys suggest you contact a truck accident attorney in Garden City to help you with your injury claim.