What Does the Growing Need for Truck Drivers Mean to Your Safety?
The commercial transportation industry is growing rapidly—almost too rapidly. As the economy improves and demand increases for air travel, buses, and shipment delivery, the transportation sector is having a hard time keeping up. A looming pilot shortage and the increased training costs threaten airline applicants, while the maritime industry is beginning to feel the pressure of their own hiring shortage.
One of the industries hardest hit by this growth is the trucking industry. A stronger economy not only means that businesses are buying and shipping at increased volumes, but consumers are spending more, too—translating to higher freight volumes.
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has also been tracking the steady rise in freight volume. It noted that revenues are increasing along with loads, but one key issue is holding the industry back from further growth—a worsening driver shortage. Attrition rates are high among new drivers, and the numbers are only getting worse.
This means that fewer trucks are available to shoulder the increasing demand and burden—which places the industry in a tough spot of putting more pressure on seasoned drivers, or flooding the roads with rookies that may not be in it for the long haul.
Is Your Safety on the Road at Risk?
Any time there is a shortage for a skilled profession, the industry at question must make a tough decision: should the existing drivers be forced to carry the extra load (literally and figuratively), or should a steady stream of new, inexperienced drivers be added to the fleet in hopes that at least a few will stay?
Either way, safety is always the primary sticking point. The experienced drivers may be able to take on some of the increasing volumes, but at a certain point either federal or personal limits will be met or exceeded. While there will always be inexperienced drivers (how else does one gain experience?), increased hiring may mean that some unsafe habits and mentalities slip through the cracks.
While most of the truck drivers you share the roads with on a daily basis are professional, safety-minded individuals, the driver shortage may lead to increased risk for accidents on our Houston highways. If you have been hurt in a truck accident, reach out to us today by filling out our online contact form, or clicking on the live chat feature now.