Depending upon which source you consult, there either is or will soon be a serious shortage of professional truck drivers in the United States. For example, a 2015 analysis of the issue by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) states that there have been at least intermittent shortages of drivers for the past 15 years and predicts that, “by 2024, the shortage could be as high as 174,500.”
So what does this mean for the average family in North Carolina or elsewhere across the country?
Good News for Truckers?
The median pay for the 1,797,700 Americans currently employed as heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers is $40,260, according to the United States Department of Labor Statistics. These statistics describe the occupation of professional truck driver as requiring only “short-term on-the-job training.” For a job that does not require a college degree, the pay for a trucker is relatively high.
However, long-haul trucking is a “major lifestyle choice” that can take drivers away from their families for large periods of time. It also requires that a driver obtain – and maintain – a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Still, the outlook for the industry is strong, with plenty of jobs predicted in the coming years as the nation’s economy and demand for goods grows.
Bad News for Other Drivers
As the need for truckers increases, and the available supply of properly qualified and trained truckers remains constant, it is likely that more and more drivers will be on the road in 80,000-pound vehicles for which they have received only minimal training to operate. Truckers drive long distances, so a lack of training has the potential to affect motorists across the country. Truck drivers are also required to make periodic inspections of their tractors and trailers in order to detect any potential safety issues. It is much easier for an experienced, well-trained trucker to see a problem than for a brand new trucker.
Those who operate 18-wheelers are subject to many laws and regulations, such as maximum hours on the road. These laws are designed to protect the public from fatigued truckers and drowsy drivers, but those new to the industry might not fully understand the importance of staying alert behind the wheel and consequently disregard important safety rules. It also takes a seasoned driver to operate certain types of trucks and trailers, especially when hazardous cargo and difficult loads are part of the equation.
While job growth is generally a good thing, when unchecked increases in available positions outweigh properly trained and vetted candidates, there is always a higher chance of an accident. This is especially true when it comes to those who drive big trucks for a living. More trucks on the road almost always means more accidents, and more rookie truckers just adds to the problem.
Talk to a Former Claims Adjuster About Your Truck Accident
If you need dependable legal advice concerning your right to seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering caused by a serious tractor-trailer wreck, a skillful North Carolina truck accident attorney at Nagle & Associates is here for you. To schedule a free consultation, call us 24/7 at (800) 411-1583. We do not charge a legal fee unless your case is settled or a favorable judgement is entered in your personal injury case.
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