Truck driver shortages are currently a huge issue, and new regulations could make the problem even worse. The new regulations call for more training hours and more sleep and while they make trucks on the road safer, it takes longer to become licensed and finish jobs. Younger drivers tend to already be deterred from truck driving careers because of the time they are forced to spend away from home, and that time would increase with these new regulations. Age is also an issue, as truck drivers are not able to start their careers until the age of 21. As a result, as older truck drivers retire, not enough newcomers are replacing their positions.
Some ideas have been proposed to combat the above issues, but they have financial drawbacks. For example, lowering the age requirement to 18 would allow more people that are not seeking a college degree to immediately enter the workforce. However, insurance companies are not on board with lowering the age for lower-costing insurance, so employing younger workers would be impractical and expensive.
Truck driver shortages affect more than just one industry. Better training and a tighter control on the amount of sleep drivers have may make roads safer, but such improvements are costly. It is expected that many businesses that rely on trucking companies to supply them will be forced to pay for any increased costs, and will in turn charge customers more for their products.
Driver shortages have caused an ongoing battle between safety and cost. With no great answer to this problem in sight, it is true that sleep deprivation and lack of training are two common factors in truck accidents. If you or a loved one have been killed or injured by a truck or commercial vehicle, call the Truck Accident Resource Center presented by the law group Williams Hart at (800) 220-9341 to learn more.