Many industries are facing labor shortages. In some cases, candidates that would take months or longer to learn a job are going through the process faster than usual to meet demands.
The trucking industry faces the same labor issues but with the additional pressure of being at the center of many industries. With increasing demands to deliver goods and fewer people willing to drive, trucking companies are looking for new ways to get products on the road.
Here’s what you should know about the impact the driver shortage is having on safety on the road.
What is behind the driver shortage?
Like many industries, driving large trucks is not a glamorous job. Many challenges make life as a truck driver difficult.
Although truck driving tends to have a high turnover rate, recent years have seen a dramatic increase in turnover. Not long after getting started on the road, drivers realize that being a trucker means many hours on the road, and the pay is often not enough to make up for the long hours.
Overcoming a shortage
Relentless demands mean trucking companies are looking for ways to adjust to support the needs of a nation. While some are looking at changing how they treat employees by increasing pay or benefits, others are trying to move new drivers through the training process faster. Some are also trying to lower the age for truck drivers to 18, so they can recruit a younger pool of drivers.
Since recruiting has been challenging, trucking companies are also looking at longer trailers to allow drivers to haul more freight per trip.
The dangers of shortcuts
Dealing with fewer drivers is a real problem that trucking companies must figure out. However, the difficulty with hiring younger drivers, using longer trailers or putting people on the road with less experience is that it can make a dangerous job deadly for both truckers and other motorists.
An essential part of staying safe around large trucks is leaving plenty of space between you and the semi. Whether overtired, overworked or inexperienced, truck drivers could always use extra space to see you and the other vehicles around them.