This year has proven to be a rather tough one for the trucking industry. With a shortage of more than 50,000 truck drivers, many companies are now pushing to have certain laws modified so that individuals who are 18-years and older who have completed the required courses and training can operate large trucks to help stunt the driver shortage the industry can’t seem to gain control over. While driver shortage has topped the industry’s list of concerns for 2018, there are still others that will need to be addressed to help keep truckers wanting to come to work.
Below we highlight what the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) identified as the top 10 issues ranked by motor carriers for 2018.
- As mentioned, driver shortage currently sits at the top of the list.
- Hours-of-Service (HOS). Although the HOS rules are expected to help make a truck driver’s job safer for both them and the motorists that are traveling around them, it appears truckers need more flexibility with the HOS rules which is why this concern has landed in the number three spot for motor carriers.
- Driver Retention. According to ATRI, “driver turnover increased through the first half of 2018, particularly at large truckload carriers, and the industry is on pace to have the highest annual turnover rate since 2013.”
- Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate. After the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandated that all commercial vehicles must be equipped with an ELD, many truckers have found that complying with this requirement has made their job more stressful and the industry began to see the effect it had on safety and productivity.
- Truck Parking. ATRI highlighted that “the growing scarcity of available truck parking [has created] a dangerous and costly dilemma for truck drivers who are often forced to drive beyond allowable HOS rules or park in undesignated and, in many cases, unsafe locations.”
- Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA). According to Fleet Owner, the “FMSCA has struggled with how best to address crash reporting for many years,” although truck wrecks continue to occur and little is done to prevent them from further occurring.
- Driver Distraction. Distracted driving has grown into a major concern for motorists, trucker drivers, and the entire trucking industry. ATRI pointed out that in 2016, 3,450 people were killed in wrecks involving distracted drivers and this behavior was a factor in 14% of all the police-reported traffic wrecks recorded.
- Transportation Infrastructure/ Congestion/ Funding. This continues to be a major issue for the trucking industry. ATRI states that “poorly maintained roads and traffic congestion create wear and tear on vehicles, waste fuel and increase emissions, create additional stress for drivers, and negatively impact industry productivity.” On top of that “ATRI research estimates that congestion-related delays cost the trucking industry $74.5 billion in added operational costs during 2016.”
- Driver Health/Wellness. While some truck drivers choose to leave the trucking industry because of the new laws or low pay rate, others cite that they have left because they have experienced problems with their health. The truth is, because drivers are placed on such strict deadlines to transport cargo coupled with the fact that they don’t have access to a healthy meal at all times, they risk having their health decline when working in the industry.
- Economy. ATRI cited that “the growing trade dispute between the U.S. and China may devolve into a protracted trade war, with the two parties currently imposing tariffs on a wide variety of goods. This has generated significant concern among industry stakeholders, many of whom depend on strong import and export activity to drive freight demand.”
Clearly, there are many concerns weighing on the trucking industry, however, motor carriers must handle each issue as an isolated matter so they can address it and resolve it. Unfortunately, with more and more truckers feeling the pressure from having to comply with ELD requirements as well as having to deal with the distracted and careless drivers who share the roadway with them, there is a chance that the driver shortage could continue to rise.
Now, if you are a trucker who has been involved in a wreck in Nashville, TN and you have some concerns that are in need of being addressed, contact Nashville, TN truck wreck lawyer George R. Fusner, Jr. our office will gladly answer any questions you have pertaining to your accident and provide you with the legal assistance you might need if you are looking to recover compensation for the injuries you sustained.
The Law Office of George R. Fusner, Jr. is located at:
7104 Peach Court
Brentwood, TN 37027