Freight Transportation Research (FTR) Associates is an influential transport industry organization. In a June 9, 2011 meeting, a FTR Associates economists declared that the trucking industry's well-publicized driver shortage will grow next year as fewer new hires replace retiring drivers and drivers removed due to immigration and trucking regulations.

A senior FTR consultant said the retiring Baby Boom generation drivers will create a huge gap in the number of available drivers, only getting worse with an estimated 300,000 drivers sidelined due to poor driving records and tougher immigration laws. Truck driver shortage is expected to grow from 150,000 this year to 300,000 in 2012 and 350,000 in 2013.

What does a truck driver shortage mean to Florida motorists?

What happens with truck driving is more than just a rhetorical question for all of us who share the road daily with massive tractor-trailers. The freight haulage business is highly competitive, and motor carriers struggling to find personnel to operate their trucks will do whatever it takes not to lose business. This means a higher risk of serious truck crashes in Florida, as motor carriers feel an increased pressure to:
  • Retain drivers with poor records;
  • Keep aging drivers at work, even if they are not fit;
  • Increase working hours as much as possible;
  • Lower qualification standards when hiring.
Some motor carriers are already inclined to bend a few rules, about hours-of-service, record keeping or truck maintenance, whenever their interests are at stake. An acute driver shortage will certainly be conducive to more of the same, and this is bad news.

Truck drivers and motor carriers share a great responsibility to keep our highways safe and avoid at all costs the devastating effects of driver fatigue, driver failure due to health issues and drugs and improperly maintained brakes and tires.

The Daytona Beach car accident attorneys of Johnson & Gilbert are dedicated to the safety of their clients. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck crash in Central or North Florida, call us today toll free at (800) 556-8890 and locally at (386) 673-4412 or fill out the form on this page for a free consultation.
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