Driving a semi-truck is tiring work. As a result, it is all too easy for truck drivers to become fatigued as they attempt to deliver their loads on time. Truck drivers often have to drive during late night and early morning hours when it is normal to experience drowsiness. And while they are required to stop for sleep, they still may not be able to get the rest they need. Their schedules are demanding and often erratic, making it difficult to have a set schedule, which almost ensures they will be tired while on the road.
When you couple all of the challenges inherent in driving a truck with a relatively modest pay rate, it is easy to understand why our nation is facing a severe truck driver shortage. In fact, according to a 2015 report released by the American Trucking Associations, the trucking industry has a driver shortfall of around 48,000. And the current truck driver population is aging rapidly, with the median age for drivers being 46.5 years of age.
This shortage of drivers could force companies to hire job candidates who lack the skills necessary to safely traverse the roads in big rig trucks. But there is one possible solution to this problem; raise drivers’ salaries. A study of one truck company showed that a pay increase of about 30 percent led to less driver turnover and a notable decrease in crashes. But that same company decided to halt the practice of paying the higher wages because it proved too costly.
Sadly, when you look at all the issues facing the trucking industry, it appears that the threat of truck accidents will not abate any time soon. And accidents involving trucks can leave victims with very serious or even catastrophic injuries.
If you or a member of your family have been harmed in a truck accident caused by a fatigued or inexperienced driver, you could likely use the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can help you pursue the most prudent avenue for appropriate compensation.