The No. 1 worry in 2020 for U.S. trucking companies is a shortage of drivers. Their second biggest worry is keeping hold of the drivers they do have. Those are the findings of a survey by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI).
While those answers may seem like good news for newcomers looking to work as truck drivers, it is bad news for all road users. Think back to any time in your life where you worked for a company that was short-staffed. Perhaps you had to do extra hours to make up for the missing people. Or maybe your employer expected you to work harder or faster. You may have needed to cut corners or take risks to save time.
Demand for haulers has gone up this year. Staff shortages will increase the pressure on truck drivers who are already overworked. In September of this year, the government made their job even more challenging. They changed the rules to allow truckers to work more hours, with fewer breaks. While it suits the trucking companies, allowing them to get more out of their drivers, truckers’ unions and their members are opposed to the changes.
As the people in charge of the largest vehicles on the road, it is crucial that those who drive big rigs are in an optimum state when doing so. They need adequate breaks and sleep. Driving any vehicle while tired is dangerous, but you can cause far more damage with a tractor-trailer than a car.
Take extra care around trucks when out on the state’s highways. There may be a tired truck driver inside, falling asleep at the wheel.