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Truck driver shortage raises safety questions

truck accident lawyerWhy is there a truck driver shortage?

The trucking industry is in need of truck drivers. The shortage of truck drivers in the past 15 years has been a burden on the trucking industry.  The shortage of drivers has seen delayed deliveries, and higher prices on goods all over the U.S.  According to the American Trucking Association, more than 70 percent of goods are moved by the trucking industry, and more than 900,000 new truckers are needed to pick up delivery demands.  The shortage of truckers has forced some major retailers to pay higher prices on shipments so that they may arrive on time.

This desperate time has lead the trucking industry to increase pay for truckers by 15 percent just to attract new entrants in the industry.  They are also offering sign-on bonuses to new truckers, and major pay raises.  Despite the enticing higher wages, and truck drivers now making upwards of $80,000 a year, new entrants to the industry are still lacking. The struggle to find new entrants all falls back on the tough lifestyle that comes along with the job.  Truck drivers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. Many truckers spend seven-plus days on the road without any days off.  Spending so much time on the road can be a strain on physical health, as well as family and personal relationships.  The lifestyle is not an easy one, and this is the main reason the trucking industry is not attracting new entrants.

The truck driver shortage has also taken a toll on trucking in Northeastern PA.  According to an article by, The Times Tribune, local logistics company A. Duie Pyle needs 100 more truckers in the next couple of months.  Chief Operating Officer of A. Duie Pyle, John Luciani, believes there are a few reasons trucking is having so much trouble filling driver positions.  He thinks the trucking industry is aging.  Nearly all truckers that are left in the industry are 55 and older.  As many truckers retire, new entrants are in demand.  The lack of desire of graduates to become truckers has made an impact tremendously.  John also believes the industry is undesirable to new graduates, because they cannot become a driver until they are 21, which is a deterrent.   The alternative, to allow 18 or 19-year-olds to become long haul truckers is thought by many to pose a serious safety risk, as teenagers are less experienced and more crash-prone drivers. We are making progress in our area with trying to reel in new drivers.  Luzerne County Community College is now offering a program dedicated to professional truck driving.  The program is designed to help potential truck drivers prepare for their commercial driver’s license which will help them immensely.

Having a program like the one offered at LCCC will help safety on the roads tremendously.  Without a program like this our roads might be consumed with drivers who are inexperienced in professional truck driving.  Inexperienced truck drivers are a huge risk to our fellow drivers and themselves.  Truckers are also spending more and more time on the road due to lack of help.  This is a risk factor to truckers, drivers, and overall highway safety. Overworked truckers experience exhaustion which can and does cause accidents on the highway.

If you get into a truck accident in Northeastern Pennsylvania, our Pennsylvania truck accident lawyers are here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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