The trucking industry has long been faced by a massive shortage of qualified drivers. This has negative effects for the number of businesses that rely on this form of shipping throughout the United States but it could also have important implications for those people sharing the roads with truckers.
The deficit of truck drivers in the United States is expected to reach 50,000 by the end of 2018, according to an analysis completed by the American Trucking Association. An aging workforce is one of the biggest challenges facing the trucking industry at present and a complex set of regulations and new technological requirements for truck drivers is pushing many of the drivers reaching retirement age to exit the workforce as soon as possible.
The early enforcement period, for example, just began on a federal electronic logging device mandate which requires that drivers use digital devices to track their driving time. The shortfall of drivers in 2015 was 45,000 and with the average age of truckers being 49 in comparison with the U.S. average age of employees at 42, it’s expected that more truck drivers will be reaching and taking retirement sooner rather than later.
This means that as those spots are filled, trucking companies may not provide appropriate training to those truck drivers due to the massive demands to meet shipping deadlines. This could lead to more trucking accidents on the road, many of which are associated with catastrophic injuries and fatalities.