At the moment the United States is experiencing a reeling shortage of truck drivers. This seems to be alarming but not surprising to truck companies who have experienced the shortage for quite a while. Truck driving is a difficult task. You will endure long days and weeks that can stretch for months. Your work means staying away from your family frequently. The monotony and static nature of the work might develop health problems on the drivers seated behind the wheel. Enduring long, daunting spells behind the wheel will become a normal part of life that bears a toll on the drivers over the years. When compared to other professions, truck drivers are at higher risk of passing out on the job. Reports show that truck drivers make up 12 percent of work-related fatalities nation wide.
A change in the rules
The shortage of truck drivers has forced the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to relax the rules for new industry drivers. This aims at boosting the truck driver numbers. This began with the waiver of the CDL knowledge test for reserves, National Guard, and veterans. This was flowed by an extension of the CDL learner permit to a full year.
Just how suitable are the new drivers being hired
The average age of truck drivers today hovers at 52 – which says a lot about the shortage of drivers. Fewer people are entering this industry unlike before. This has brought about several problems including more pressure on the current drivers. They are forced to cut corners so as to deliver more loads in time.
Drivers from uncertified CDL schools turning out to be a menace
Several uncertified and fraudulent schools that offer truck driver training have surfaced. This means a new crop of poorly trained drivers is finding their way into the workforce. One avenue wherein the operators of uncertified training programs sidestep certification is to claim they are not running a school. What this means is that there are several schools running without any form of oversight. As a result their lack proper industry-grade standards and training equipment. A driver who has not undergone proper training is more careless as they take unnecessary risks, ignore road rules and remain ignorant of the best safety procedures. Most of the speed unnecessarily, make rapid lane changes and ignore safety checks. In worst case scenarios, they drive when intoxicated with alcohol and violate the rest-period requirements.
Consequences of poor training
The shortage of truck drivers has seen a steady rise in the number of fatalities from truck injured in an 18-wheeler accident. These statistics are expected to continue unless more attention is paid to improving this industry. Catastrophic injuries and accidents arise from reckless drivers leaving families disenfranchised and grieving over the loss or decapitation of their loved ones. Truck drivers have the responsibility to ensure all their drivers are adequately trained. A failure to take up that responsibility can result in one being held liable for the injuries and fatalities. All the best to have truck insurance to ensure you are taken care of in case the worst happens.