Truck driver shortage may impact motorists in LA

Although the U.S. economy has an increased amount of freight to deliver, there is a shortage of truckers which could impact motorists.

Large trucks are a vital part of the American economy, as people in Louisiana and across the country rely on qualified truck drivers to distribute goods throughout the nation. While the amount of freight tonnage that needs to be distributed across the U.S. continues to grow, however, the American Trucking Association reported that there are less truckers to operate these massive vehicles. This shortage causes a serious problem for the trucking industry, as loads must be delivered and deadlines are tight. Not only does the lack of truckers pose a problem for the trucking industry, but it may also affect motorists who must share the road with a growing number of big rigs.

A surging economy and increase in freight

The U.S. economy is getting stronger. In fact, the amount of freight is expected to increase by 23.5 percent from 2013 to 2025. In order to keep up with this growing demand, trucking companies will need to hire an average of 100,000 new truckers each year. Yet, last year alone there were anywhere from 30,000 to 35,000 truck driver positions that remained unfilled. With an increase in truck driver demand and less truckers to fill these positions, some trucking companies may be forced to stretch the rules when it comes to distributing goods.

What trucking companies are doing

In order to meet strict deadlines and deliver more freight, trucking companies may indirectly encourage drivers to stay behind the wheel for longer than federal regulations allow. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has Hours of Service regulations in place to limit the amount of time truckers can spend behind the wheel. The rules require truckers to take breaks and rest periods to ensure they do not fall asleep at the wheel.

Furthermore, less than qualified truckers may be used to operate tractor trailers in an attempt to move more product. In 2012, nearly 5 percent of truck drivers were taken off of the roads once officials found them to be driving with too many violations. This equates to more than 171,000 truck drivers.

Surviving a truck accident

People who have been injured or who have lost a loved one in a tractor trailer accident may be dealing with excessive medical expenses and emotional trauma. Knowing where to turn during this difficult time can be hard. You may want to seek legal counsel from a personal injury attorney in Louisiana regarding your options when it comes to seeking compensation.