In the last several years, there has been a decline in the number of commercial truck drivers in the United States. Trucking industry experts cite high turnover rates, safety concerns, new regulations, and an aging workforce as possible reasons for this steady decline. As a result, trucking companies have turned to signing bonuses to entice more workers into the trucking profession. This shortage of truck drivers has had a significant impact on delivery times, resulting in higher prices for consumers across the country. It has also resulted in increased risk and more serious trucking accidents.
Trucker Shortage Means More Fatigued Drivers
Trucking companies make profits by delivering their goods on time in the most efficient ways possible. Truck drivers also make money by delivering their shipments on time. The trucker shortage has resulted in longer trips, missed deadlines, and longer hours on the road. Truckers are feeling the pressure to work longer shifts to make up for the shortage of workers and this may mean breaking FMCSA rules and regulations. Trucking companies may also pressure their drivers to work long hours, violate rest break regulations, and spend months on the road with little to no time off. This can result in serious and fatal trucking accidents.
In 2017, there were 4,761 people killed in trucking accidents across the country. This represented a 9% increase from 2016. Sadly, 72% of the people killed in trucking accidents were occupants of other vehicles. According to a survey conducted by the FMCSA and the NHTSA, truck driver fatigue is the main reason for trucking accidents. If a truck driver goes without sleep for 18 consecutive hours (which is against FMCSA rules and regulations) this is similar to driving drunk.
Trucker Shortage Means Less Qualified Truckers
By law, truck companies must follow guidelines when hiring new truckers. These guidelines include having a valid commercial truck drivers license, proven experience, and adequate training. They must also be in good health and meet the necessary age requirements. If they have previous DUI convictions, they should not be hired.
The trucker shortage has caused trucking companies to cut corners when hiring new truck drivers. New truck drivers, less qualified truck drivers, and even incompetent or dangerous truck drivers are being hired to fill in the schedule. Trucking companies may also look the other way when a trucker has numerous citations or violations on their record, or they may fail to train them appropriately in an effort to get them out on the road quickly. This can have disastrous consequences, as new truck drivers may not know what to do and what not to do in an emergency situation on the road.
Contact Our Tampa Trucking Accident Lawyers Today
If you or someone you love has been injured in a trucking accident, it is important to retain the services of an experienced Tampa trucking accident lawyer immediately. Trucking companies have large legal teams on their side that are dedicated to reducing their liabilities. As such, without aggressive legal representation, you may not recover the money you need to put your life back together again.
At Armando Personal Injury Law, our Tampa trucking accident lawyers can help you and your family during this difficult time. Contact Armando Personal Injury Law at (813) 538-1589 or fill out our confidential contact form. We have offices in Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, and Lakeland, Florida and we offer complete legal assistance every step of the way.