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How a shortage of commercial drivers could be dangerous

The trucking and logistics industry may be growing too fast for recruiters to keep up. According to a recent report by CBS, hiring demand for new truck drivers is expected to  grow by about 21 percent between 2010 and 2020.

This is obviously bad news for those looking to hire drivers – but the problems with a trucker shortage don’t stop there. A lack of qualified drivers could create a dangerous situation for everyone on the road.

Increased pressure on existing drivers

The trucking industry is notorious for maintaining conditions that require drivers to work long hours without sufficient rest. Not only do truck drivers drive for hours on end to meet strict deadlines, but they work in conditions that often lead to sleeping problems, such as sleep apnea.

To make matters worse, existing drivers may have to pick up the slack when a carrier doesn’t have sufficient manpower to finish every job. Those drivers may have to take additional shifts or log extra miles in the same amount of time: both dangerous behaviors that compromise every other vehicle on the road. \

Sinking standards among companies and recruiters

To survive in a heavily competitive marketplace, businesses must be able to get their products from one place to another. Facing internal and external pressure when recruiters can’t keep up with the demand, a business may be compelled to hire drivers who wouldn’t normally meet its hiring standards.

As illustrated in our recent post about a negligent doctor who approved thousands of drivers for licenses without thorough medical exams, a lapse in judgment and standards can have potentially drastic repercussions.

Staying safe on the road with truckers

No matter how careful you are behind the wheel, it is impossible to control truckers and other motorists. However, you can control your own driving behavior. It’s always a good idea to give trucks ample room, and avoid cutting them off or following too closely.

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