The face of trucking has changed over the past couple of years – literally. Many truck drivers found themselves largely without work when serious supply shortages hit the U.S. last year. A number of older, more experienced drivers opted to retire – at least from the trucking profession.
Now, as the federal government focuses on getting shipments out of ports and into consumers’ hands, the industry is seriously short on truck drivers. People who have lost jobs or even their businesses recently in a variety of professions are getting their commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) and learning how to drive commercial trucks.
The shortage of truck drivers (with an estimated 68,000 vacant jobs) is also being filled by teenagers. While the average age of a commercial trucker was recently 54, it’s soon going to be much younger. Both vocational and traditional high schools now offer truck-driving programs.
A perfect storm of dangerous elements
Between the back-ordered home goods and other products finally getting off their ships and holiday gifts that have to make it to the stores and warehouses in time to get under the tree, there will be trucks on the road 24/7 over the coming weeks. The combination of new drivers with little experience (many of whom just recently learned how to drive a car) and unpredictable, brutal winter weather ahead is likely going to make for added dangers on the road.
A crash between a car (or even an SUV or pickup truck) and a commercial truck can result in devastating injuries for the driver of the smaller vehicle. Determining who is at fault (the driver, the company they work for and/or the manufacturer of the truck) is challenging. That’s why it’s wise to get legal guidance to get the maximum compensation to which you’re entitled after a crash.