In a frightening story published earlier this week, the Associated Press highlighted the lack of qualified truck drivers on the road today, despite the sluggish nature of the economy. As trucking accident injury lawyers, we have great appreciation for the potential hazards this scarcity of safe commercial drivers could pose to our public highways and neighborhood streets.
Particularly concerning were the statistics about how the growing shortage of truck drivers is not likely to abate soon. According to Page Siplon, Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, American companies are expected to create more than 115,000 truck driver jobs per year through 2016, but the number of Americans getting trained to fill those jobs each year is barely 10% of the total demand.
The shortage of truck drivers is cause for alarm for several reasons. A lack of qualified employees might encourage some trucking companies to cut corners on safety and maintenance. Moreover, truck drivers may be pressured to complete routes more quickly, running the risk over higher speeds and driving longer than allowed by federal safety guidelines. Strict compliance with federal transportation safety guidelines really is necessary to promote safe driving on our roadways where 65K rigs share the road with vehicles – and families – under 5K pounds.
At Whiting Law Group, this situation is one that we shall continue to monitor. We cannot afford to let the dearth of qualified truck drivers on our highways become a significant risk to the rest of the motoring public.
The original AP news story was published on a number of news outlets, including on the Philadelphia Enquirer website.