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How the Truck Driver Shortage May Impact Roadway Safety

The United States has suffered from a truck driver shortage for over 15 years. According to the American Trucking Association, the covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated an already serious trucking crisis. There were already more than 60,000 vacancies in the industry at the beginning of covid shutdowns. These shortages have led to a serious demand for truckers to drive these critical shipping lines that deliver goods across the country. With so many shortages, drivers feel pressured to complete jobs faster with little rest in-between jobs. Overtired truck drivers can be a danger for all other drivers on the roadways. If you were injured in a crash with a commercial truck, you might have a case.

Driver Shortages Can Lead to Unsafe Working Conditions

With so few available drivers helping move freight across the country, the commercial trucking industry has struggled to meet demands. The trucking industry has moved to allow younger drivers behind the wheel of long-haul vehicles. The increased demand caused by the pandemic has shown how the limited number of qualified truck drivers available to fill these vacancies has led to an inability to get goods to their intended location. It’s also created a demand for drivers willing to take additional shifts, longer drives, and more loads with brutal deadlines.

The Heightened Demands for Goods Can Lead to Negligent Business Practices

With a shortage of qualified drivers interested in going into the industry, companies are tempted to hire untrained drivers or meet their employment demands by foregoing more stringent vetting. A properly trained, qualified, and vetted driver should have:

  • A clean and proper background check
  • Formally reviewed driving records
  • Credential checks and verifications

Driver shortages can cause companies to make difficult decisions, like retaining drivers who are a liability or hiring drivers they think may be a potential problem over concerns they may not find other candidates. These choices can lead to drivers without the skills and temperament needed to safely transport goods.

Proving a Truck Accident Liability Case

If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, holding the company liable for damages may not be a given. Understanding the standards for building a liability case against a commercial trucking company can vary from state to state. Your best chances for a positive outcome would come from speaking with an attorney who has experience developing Idaho truck accident cases. Part of providing your liability case will come down to locating evidence of neglect on the part of the trucking company. Many drivers do not receive proper training before being sent on assignments, and this is a common cause of roadway incidents involving commercial trucks.

There are many other common causes of truck accidents that stem from negligent business practices, like:

  • Truck weight and size sometimes fail to meet legal standards
  • Operating trucks needing servicing and neglecting maintenance
  • Allowing drivers to work beyond legal industry maximums
  • Drivers are encouraged to push speed limits to meet tight company deadlines

Meeting these ever-increasing high demands means drivers may be tempted by overtime opportunities or pushed by management to work beyond the guidelines placed by federal regulators. When drivers are exhausted, they are more likely to make the type of mistakes that could lead to serious injury or death to others sharing roadways. If you think these conditions could have led to the accident that caused your injuries, call the Pocatello truck accident attorneys at May, Rammell, and Wells at (208) 623-8021. We can schedule a consultation to review the details of your case today.

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