Why Is There Such a Shortage of Experienced Truck Drivers?
It’s a well known fact that the trucking industry is desperately looking for drivers. Over the last 10 years, the shortage of drivers has been a growing concern for many trucking companies in the United States and Michigan. This shortage of capable drivers has caused the delay in many deliveries and has increased the prices on many good all across the country. Well over 70% of all product in the United States is moved by trucking companies and this requires upwards of 800,000 drivers to complete the task at hand. In order to combat this problem, many companies are paying more to entice drivers and consumers are paying the price.
The trucking industry is so desperate to find drivers, they have increased their pay by well over 20% and many salaries for truckers is over $80,000 per year. On top this, they are offering lucrative signing bonuses and pay raises that escalate rather quick compared to normal salary jobs. Despite all this increased pay, it is still hard for companies to find enough drivers. The main reason for this is the harsh lifestyle and the dangers of the job. Truckers are required to be away for long periods of time and don’t usually get much time off. The hours are demanding and the job is dangerous. In fact, truck drivers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. The long hours, time away from family, stress of driving a dangerous vehicle, and other factors can take a toll on both their physical and mental health. The trucking lifestyle is not an easy one and this is the main reason for the shortage of drivers across the US and Michigan.
Experienced Driving Are Becoming Harder and Harder To Replace
Most the current truck drivers are older in age and most are 55 and older. Many of these truckers are starting to retire and it’s hard to find willing replacements that are younger. You must 21 years or older to operate a truck since the danger is so high. Any person less than 21 years of age is considered to inexperienced and would pose to much risk to other drivers on the road. Most students are already making decisions about their career before this age and this is another factor contributing to the lack of truck drivers. There are some new programs that are being developed dedicated to professional truck driving and this is expected to help, but it still will not do enough to make up for the large shortage.
These new programs are essential to the safety of our roads. We need drivers that have been trained adequately and have years of experience driving large trucks. Inexperienced drivers pose a major concern and are much more prone to accidents. Another possible solution comes with advancement in technology, but this is still years away from being implemented. Self driving cars are starting to become developed and there is no other industry that would benefit more than the truck industry. While this might be a viable solution, great care must be taken when letting a computer behind the wheel of such a large and dangerous vehicle.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident in Michigan, contact us today to see if you have a case!