The past couple of years were difficult for those in the trucking profession – and, of course, in many other lines of work. Many truckers had to find other jobs. Others decided to retire.
Now, as the Biden administration works to get goods out of ports and onto store shelves, the trucking industry is facing a serious shortage of drivers.
More teen truck drivers
They’re turning to teens to fill what’s been estimated at 68,000 empty trucking jobs. In an industry where the average driver age is 54, the face of trucking is going be much younger. Vocational and even non-vocational high schools are offering truck-driving programs. Instructors are hoping these young people end up seeing this as a lifelong profession.
How will this move to young drivers affect safety for everyone who shares the road with them? Young people who only recently learned to drive a car have to learn the myriad and ever-changing trucking regulations, how to maneuver a big rig and how to deal with real-world scenarios faced by truckers as they get their commercial driver’s license (CDL).
Influx of new drivers of all ages
The industry has also attracted people of all ages who lost their jobs or businesses over the past couple of years or whose hours were cut so drastically that they could no longer earn a living in their chosen field. The director of one trucking school says that the influx of new drivers, more trucks on the road to deliver a backlog of products before the holidays and brutal, unpredictable winter weather can combine to create dangerous conditions on our nation’s roads.
It’s always wise to give any large truck extra space when you see it on the road. If you see a young driver at the wheel who looks like they’re barely out of high school, give them an even wider berth.
A collision between a car and a large commercial truck is typically much worse for the driver of the car. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries – or worse – in a collision caused by a truck driver or a problem with the truck, it’s wise to determine all of your potential avenues for seeking the compensation you need and deserve.