According to the latest figures from the American Trucking Association, there is a chronic shortage of just under 40,000 truck drivers. It is thought that the number of open truck driver positions for qualified drivers has increased to well over 60,000 this year. This trend is likely to continue, as it is thought that there will be over 170,000 open trucking positions by 2026, according to Houston Truck Accident Lawyer Greg Baumgartner.
The reason for the lack of drivers is because most of the modern generation are unable to take on the trucking lifestyle requirements, which means people will have a poor social life and will not see their family if they take these jobs.
Solution 1 – Legislation to Reduce the Legal Age
Recently, a bill was introduced to allow commercial truck drivers to be as young as 18 years old to operate and drive across state lines. Currently, truck drivers need to be at least 21-year-old to haul freight from state to state. It is thought that by lowering the age, this will lead to more accidents taking place, as young and inexperienced drivers who have only been driving for just a few years will cause more accidents. Is this really a good solution?
Solution 2 – Increase in Pay
Because of the number of vacancies available, many trucking companies will need to increase driver pay to attract more candidates for the job. Even this is not working for some companies who can’t fill positions even with generous wage packages. In recent times, some employers have even given signing bonuses to new drivers and trucking companies are resorting to radio advertising to reach as many potential applicants as possible.
Solution 3 – Driverless Trucks
Driverless trucks have received a lot of attention in recent weeks. This is clearly not a short-term solution to the lack of drivers, but in the future, it could have a very positive impact on long-haul trucking. Many states and private companies are testing these driverless trucks to see if there is a long-term future for them.
But, would you trust a driverless truck on the road? Last year, there were just under 170,000 accidents involving commercial vehicles on the road. The state of Texas had more fatal truck crashes than in any other state in the USA. Adding driverless trucks to the mix could cause more problems and increase the numbers of crashes.
For more information, check out https://www.texas-truckaccidentlawyer.com/blog/truck-driver-shortage-solutions-and-dangers/.