A Variety of Factors Must Be Considered
It’s estimated that by 2030 there will be a shortage of 160,000 drivers in the trucking world.
Over the next ten years, when you account for drivers retiring, there’s a need for a million new truck drivers to be trained and hit the road. With all things considered, the trucker shortage isn’t likely to get better (barring some major innovations in self driving trucks), and can have drastic effects on traffic on our major highways around the country.
As personal injury attorneys in the Dallas area, we’re concerned with safety on the road. Will fewer trucks mean fewer wrecks? Or do other factors come into play that could cause the dangers to dramatically increase?
Fewer Trucks Means Less Traffic
As roads become more populated, more congested, and overall traffic increases, the likelihood or wrecks increases too. This goes for truck wrecks, car wrecks, motorcycle wrecks, UFO wrecks, and everything in between.
As the trucker shortage worsens, it’s only fair to assume that there will be fewer semi trucks on the highway. In theory that should reduce the number of truck wrecks on any given year.
Unfortunately, the following issues might not make that a reality.
Bigger Push to Get People Driving
Because shipping companies need drivers, there will be bigger and harder pushes to get drivers on board with their new career. Increasing wages is one method, and that’s a great way to keep the economy moving. But there are downsides that can come with a push for new drivers.
Getting drivers up and running sooner can mean skipping over some important training. It can also mean drivers that would be passed over due to their driving record, background checks, or the fact that they just aren’t a good fit may be ignored. The result is drivers on the roads that are improperly trained, or unfit to be behind the wheel of a big rig.
A Trucker Shortage means More Miles and Longer Hours
Let’s suppose you have to move 10 loads of cargo. With 10 drivers it would all get done at once. But if you’re short 5 drivers, it now takes twice as long. To compensate, drivers may be encouraged to push the limits and drive more miles and for longer hours (this is illegal, by the way, drivers are limited to how much they can work in a given period).
Pushing the limits, fudging the numbers, and overall ignoring the laws might look like it’s a good way to get more done. But fatigue is a real issue, and can lead to deadly consequences.
Heavier Trucks to Haul more Cargo in Fewer Trips
An alternative to driving longer and farther is to just load up the trucks a bit more. Legally a truck must stay under 80,000 pounds, but there are always ways to get around that. It all depends on how sneaky a company is, and what they’re willing to risk.
An overweight truck may land the driver or company a hefty fine. In some states it could result in jail time for the driver.
But the consequences might be more severe. Overweight vehicles don’t just put a strain on the road, bridges, and other infrastructure. They’re incredibly difficult to stop in an emergency. That lengthened stop time can mean deadly crashes.
Drivers Moving Faster than Necessary
When you’re limited on how much weight you can haul; limited on how many miles and hours you can drive; and understaffed, then you end up taking more risks. Like speeding to the destination in order to stay within the allowable hours of drive time.
The trucker shortage may lead to more big rigs zipping down the road at dangerous speeds. These vehicles are already difficult to stop. Add a few more miles per hour, and the risk of deadly crashes increases dramatically.
Let Herbert Law Group Help with Your Truck Accident
Whether the trucker shortage plays a factor into a wreck you’ve been involved in is irrelevant. You have just one goal: to heal from your injuries.
But when you’re dealing with the stressful situation you’ve been forced into, healing doesn’t come easily. And that’s why you need a truck accident lawyer from Herbert Law Group.
With extensive knowledge on truck accidents, you can take comfort knowing that your case is being handled with care. The result is that you don’t have to stress out about the details, and put all your energy into healing from injuries.