Tractor Trailer Accidents May Increase Due to Driver Shortage
Brunswick, GA (Law Firm Newswire) November 29, 2012 – According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there are an estimated 11 million tractor trailers on the roadways.
Those tractor trailers are traveling more than 250 billion miles each year along U.S. highways. With the sheer number of trucks on the road, it is hardly surprising that there were more than 275,000 truck crashes in 2009 involving large rigs. Those accidents led to almost 75,000 injuries and 3,000 fatalities.
Tractor trailers have wide turn radiuses, slow stopping ability and, weigh on average more than 10,000 pounds. More tractor trailer drivers need to be trained in safety practices. While there are some 1.5 million drivers currently on the roads, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of drivers is growing and there are expected to be more than 1.8 million drivers by 2020. But according to CNN Money, there is a shortage of trained, qualified drivers to meet the trucking industry demand. An estimated 200,000 jobs are waiting for nationwide long haul truckers.
“A shortage of tractor trailer drivers means fewer drivers are trying to cover more miles,” stated Brunswick personal injury attorney Nathan Williams. “Tired drivers may lead to more deadly accidents on our roadways.”
Why is there a shortage of qualified drivers? Most drivers cite the lack of appeal of long hours, time away from family, the stress of traffic, living on the road, and working to meet delivery deadlines. The field experiences a high turnover rate. The other reason for the driver shortage is regulation-based: age limitations; mandatory down time; multi-week driver training courses, which must be paid out-of-pocket; and more selective trucking companies all add to the restrictions potential drivers find upon entering the field.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently began releasing safety ratings for U.S. trucking companies, which also has prompted employers to look to hire only experienced drivers.
At a recent trucking conference in Las Vegas, an industry analyst predicted that as many as 500,000 driver openings could develop by 2013, while the American Trucking Association has reported that the turnover rate for drivers for large truckload fleets has reached 106%, which is the highest turnover level since early 2007.
Nathan Williams is a Brunswick personal injury lawyer, Brunswick divorce attorney, Brunswick criminal defense attorney and Brunswick DUI lawyer in Southeast Georgia. Visit http://www.thewilliamslitigationgroup.com or call 1.912.264.0848.
The Williams Litigation Group
5 St. Andrews Court
Brunswick, GA 31520
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