In a time where minimum wage is rising and many folks are having trouble finding jobs, one industry is short a staggering 900,000 workers: trucking. The cause of the shortage is speculative, but its impact cannot be ignored by industry.
At the start of 2018, there was 1 truck available for every 12 shipments that needed to be moved.
The shortage of drivers has created issues for both retailers and trucking companies. A reported 70% of goods used in the United States are moved by trucks, so when a massive shortage of drivers occurs, it means that a company’s ability to efficiently sell their goods is in peril. Shops are having to put nonessential shipments on delay or be willing to pay exorbitant prices for their shipments to arrive on time. Truck companies are also losing profits due to the shortage, as less deliveries means less income. If fleets have unmanned trucks that are sitting in lots, those trucks are wasted capital.
While the shortage is bad now, it doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. The average trucker is reportedly 10 years older than other average employees in similar work areas (construction and manufacturing.) In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the average age of truck drivers is 55. This means the trucker shortage could drastically increase if something doesn’t change soon.
The Shortage May Be a Safety Concern
While shipments are sitting at warehouses, truck companies may be itching to obtain profits by hiring more workers despite qualifications or by overworking current employees. Truck companies have to meet deadlines and secure profits, which may driving businesses to use practices that risk the lives of their workers and other motorists. If a company needs to hire more workers to make better profit margins, they may end up taking applicants that are not truly qualified for the job. Drivers who are inexperienced, have poor records, or have bad work ethics are all safety hazards to other vehicles.
On the other side of the coin, truck companies may be pressuring current workers to drive over federally-allowed amounts in order to make up for lost profits. While drivers may be looking at better paydays, other citizens on the roads are looking at big safety concerns. Truckers already deal with sleep insomnia and poor rest patterns. If drivers are only sleeping five hours a night, they may end up hurting themselves or others due to truck driver fatigue. This has already been a serious issue for truck companies in the past, and the shortage only exacerbates the problem.
The Driver Shortage May Cause More Truck Accidents
Arnold & Itkin hopes that companies will refuse to put profit over people’s lives. However, we have been fighting for personal injury claims for long enough to know that a company’s decision to forgo profit is unlikely. For this reason, we offer our services to anyone who may have been injured due to the negligence of a trucking company. If you have been the victim of trucking negligence, let one of our truck accident attorneys take care of you. For a free consultation for your case, call (888) 490-0442. Our firm is here to help.