In the past five years, the U.S. trucking industry has experienced an extreme shortage in the number of truck drivers. In fact, the American Trucking Association determines that the U.S. is suffering a shortage of roughly 35,000-40,000 drivers. Such a shortage can be detrimental to the safety of people sharing the road with commercial truck drivers. Below are four different ways the shortage of truck drivers may increase the likelihood of truck accidents.
1. Overloaded Trucks
Due to the shortage of drivers, many shipping companies may load an excess amount of products onto trucks so that these items are in commute. However, an overloaded truck can be extremely dangerous to the truck driver as well as others that share the road. If a truck is overloaded, a driver may not be able to perform the appropriate driving maneuvers to avoid collisions. Additionally, overloaded trucks may be prone to jackknifing, rolling over, and spilling cargo which can cause serious accidents.
2. Overworked/Fatigued Drivers
Companies may assign routes and place certain delivery dates and times on shipments that may be impossible for a truck driver to deliver in a safe manner. Additionally, these drivers may feel pressured to meet these expectations, causing them to drive under extremely fatigued conditions. These long hours pose detrimental risks to those on the road.
3. Increase in Drug Use
Due to such long hours, truck drivers may become more inclined to use drugs in order to stay awake. Of course, drug usage is dangerous to those who share the road since truck drivers under the influence may not be able to react to road conditions appropriately. Furthermore, these drugs may inhibit their driving abilities.
4. Lowered Hiring Standards
Due to this shortage, a new debate has surfaced. This debate has brought into question whether the legal interstate trucking age should be lowered from 21 to 18. This can lead to an increase of inexperienced drivers, making road conditions dangerous and increasing the likelihood of accidents involving these drivers.
The Stern Law Group is Here for You
The Houston truck accident lawyers at Stern Law Group care about your safety. If you have been harmed or someone you know has been injured due to a truck accident, contact our firm right away. We understand the complexities of such accidents and can do everything in our power to fight for the financial compensation you deserve. Such accidents can be extremely intimidating. That is why Stern Law Group is here. By working with our Houston truck accident lawyers, you can rest assured knowing we will give you the aggressive representation you deserve.
To discuss your case, contact our firm today! We have recovered over $700 million for our clients!