Has the truck driver shortage led to an increase in accidents?
America is facing a labor shortage unlike at any time in recent memory, and the trucking industry is no exception. There is a major lack of drivers, and that’s putting everyone on the road at an increased risk. Car accidents are bad enough when two or more passengers are involved. When the typical four-wheel vehicle collides with a truck, the results can be even worse.
If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of a truck driver, the Jones Law Group will be ready to offer the legal representation you’ll need in order to obtain full and fair compensation. We have a team of attorneys who have an impressive track record of winning these types of cases.
If you would like to take advantage of our skill and experience, we invite you to get in touch as soon as possible. Please contact us online or give us a call at (727) 571-1333 to schedule a free consultation.
What’s the Truck Driver Shortage and What Caused it?
Much of our country’s labor shortage can be attributed to the pandemic. But the shortage of drivers has gradually gotten worse over the last several years. There are a lot of factors that have contributed to this problem. The biggest is simply that truckers are advancing in age, and there aren’t enough young ones to replace them.
Why is it so hard for trucking companies to find new drivers? The lifestyle is probably the main culprit. Truck drivers lead a largely solitary life, since they’re on the road the vast majority of the year. That means they have very little contact with their loved ones. Even though companies try to entice new drivers by offering lucrative incentives, they’re finding that the lifestyle objections are just too hard to surmount.
There’s also the pressure aspect to the job. Trucking companies often impose very tight deadlines on their drivers, and this can obviously lead to a lot of stress. Young people would rather not deal with that, so they look for other professions.
Commercial Trucking Deaths Continue to Rise
So, a combination of older drivers having to meet increasingly difficult deadlines, as you might imagine, is contributing to more deaths involving commercial trucks. There were 4,119 fatalities attributed to commercial trucking accidents in 2019 – nearly 70% of those fatalities were either drivers or passengers in four-wheel vehicles. The numbers were even worse in 2020, with 4,965 deaths.
How do Inexperienced Drivers Cause More Accidents?
As trucking companies get more desperate to find drivers, they’re turning to people who have zero experience behind the wheel of a big rig. Truckers have been known to violate federal safety regulations on a regular basis in several ways, such as failing to take mandatory rest breaks. When someone with no background tries to operate a complex machine such as an 80,000-pound truck, that’s a recipe for disaster.
For example, there are a lot of young drivers out there who don’t know how to adjust when heavy rain or other types of poor weather make the roads dangerous. They have a hard time controlling their trucks on hilly roads, or they’re not familiar with the turning radius.
But there are other issues that are making the problem even worse. Inexperienced drivers are facing increased pressure because customer demand keeps rising. That means they have to deal with even more demanding deadlines. Ths leads to more stress and fatigue. And a higher risk for an accident.
Many times, trucking operations will hire third parties to load their rigs. Increased consumer demand affects those companies as well, leading to rushed jobs that can result in improper loading. When this happens, a truck can be off-balance, and be more prone to rolling over on a highway. Making a routine turn could lead to a horrible accident.
How to Prove that a Trucking Company and/or Driver is Liable for Your Injuries?
You’ll need solid evidence in order to prove that either the driver or the trucking company is liable for the suffering you’ve been forced to endure. That driver may have been unqualified to handle the job. Or they may have been overly fatigued due to being behind the wheel for too many hours.
The trucking company may also share responsibility due to hiring the inexperienced driver. Or, it could have violated federal regulations by forcing the driver to work beyond their limits. The company may have also neglected to thoroughly inspect the truck before allowing it to get on the road, and the brakes failed as a result.
But how do you go about obtaining the proof you’ll need to prove that liability? You hire a law firm with the resources needed to perform a detailed investigation into the accident. Your attorney can also bring in an expert who can reconstruct the accident, providing a clear picture of exactly what happened and why.
Claiming Damages for a Truck Accident Caused by an Inexperienced Driver
If you’re going to have the best possible chance to get the money you deserve due to the negligence of all liable parties, you’ll need an attorney with experience in commercial truck accidents. You’ll also need to be aware that Florida law imposes what is known as a “statute of limitations” in these kinds of cases. You have four years from the date of the accident to take legal action.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney Today for a Free Consultation
However, it will be in your best interests to speak with an attorney as soon as you can if you want to obtain compensation. The earlier you get legal help, the sooner an investigation can take place. Time will be of the essence. Because the accident site can change very quickly due to weather, construction and other reasons.
Get in touch with the truck accident attorneys with the Jones Law Group to learn more about how we may be able to help. You can use our online form to schedule a free case review, or you can call (727) 571-1333.