According to trucking industry recruiters, the demand for commercial truck drivers is outpacing the entry of new drivers into the industry. According to a CBS report, the demand for drivers will grow by about 21 percent between 2010 and 2020.
This is not only bad news for those looking to hire drivers - it could cause a dangerous situation for everyone on the road. Read on to learn more about why too few trucks may be just as dangerous as too many.
Increased demands on existing drivers
The trucking and logistics industry is notorious for conditions under which drivers work long hours with inadequate sleep. Not only do truck drivers work long hours under strict deadlines, but they do so under conditions that frequently lead to sleep apnea and other sleeping problems.
When a carrier doesn't have enough drivers to complete every job, existing drivers may have to pick up the slack. This may involve taking additional shifts or being expected to log more miles in the same amount of time - both of which can seriously compromise road safety.
Sinking standards among companies and recruiters
In order to survive in this competitive economy, businesses need a reliable way to get their wares from Point A to Point B. The demand for truck drivers continues to grow even when recruiting can't keep up. Facing internal and external pressure, companies may hire a driver who ordinarily wouldn't meet their standards.
As illustrated in our last post, about a doctor who allowed thousands of truckers to take the wheel without thorough medical examinations, a simple act of negligence can have drastic repercussions.
Share the road safely
No matter how diligent a driver you are, it is impossible to control what truckers and other motorists do on the road. What you can control, however, is your own driving behavior. It is always wise to give trucks ample room. Avoid cutting them off or following too closely, as it takes trucks longer to react in traffic.