What the “Truck Driver Shortage” in PA Says About the Trucking Industry

April 17th, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Truck Accidents

Truck Driver Shortage

The trucking industry is hurting, causing problems for all motorists. There is a shortage of truck drivers across the country; and while it might seem that fewer trucks on the road should lead to fewer accidents, the result is the opposite.  In Pennsylvania, as well as other states, the high demand for truckers means that drivers who are less experienced and less qualified are being hired, which can lead to an increased number of crashes.

Truck drivers and the motor carriers that hire them have a responsibility to follow the rules to keep our highways safe.  They must drive carefully and avoid problems caused by driver fatigue, driver failure due to health issues, alcohol and drugs, and vehicle failure due to improperly maintained or neglected maintenance. However, the shortage of truck drivers means some new employees are not as well trained or vigilant.

This situation makes our highways more dangerous, as any crash involving large trucks is likely to be devastating and result in serious injuries or death. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 3,986 people died in large truck crashes in 2016.

If you or a loved one has suffered injury or someone has died in a truck crash, you may be entitled to compensation for medical and rehabilitative expenses, past and future lost wages, permanent disability and loss of life’s enjoyment. Multiple parties may be liable, including a negligent truck driver and the company where the driver is employed.

However, due to the complexity and issues involving Pennsylvania personal injury law, your case must be handled correctly by an attorney experienced in truck crashes, or you may never collect the compensation you are entitled to. 

Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann knows the courts and the system and what you need to do to win a good settlement. Our skilled and experienced Pennsylvania truck crash attorneys have represented any number individuals who have been injured or killed in vehicle accidents in Pennsylvania.

We offer a free consultation to discuss the facts of your situation, so contact us at our office or online today.

Why a Shortage of Truckers?

Unemployment is at a record low in America. According to Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association president and CEO Kevin Stewart, the trucking industry is short about 50,000 drivers.

As a result, trucking companies are competing for good employees, but they are hard to find.  When motor carriers cannot find experienced drivers, they are under pressure to hire drivers they ordinarily would not consider.

Companies desperate for drivers may …

  • Retain drivers who are unfit, aging or have poor records
  • Increase working hours
  • Lower qualification standards when hiring
  • Bend rules about hours-of-service, record keeping or truck maintenance.Many companies are offering more money and benefits to attract employees. However, people are still reluctant to become truck drivers due in part to the strict federal regulations that have come into effect. These regulations limit the number of hours truck drivers can be on the road and require commercial long-distance drivers to install electronic tracking devices (ELDs) in their vehicles to document everything they do.

While the ELDs are supposed to make roads safer by keeping long distance drivers from driving while fatigued, truckers feel that the rules actually make their driving situation worse, lower their productivity, make it more difficult to find places to sleep and park, and even encourage speeding and reckless driving that may increase the chances of a crash.

In addition, some trucking companies put more pressure on their existing truck drivers, often violating restrictions. Drivers may be pressured into turning off their ELDs to stay on the road longer. Companies may hire inexperienced drivers or those with prior traffic citations and convictions, and even overlook issues such as using alcohol or drugs while on the road.

Contact an Attorney at Our Firm

If you or a loved one has been injured or someone has died in a truck crash, you should get immediate legal assistance to protect your rights at every stage of your liability claim. Often, both the at-fault truck driver and the trucking company can be held liable for a truck accident.

The skilled and experienced Pennsylvania truck accident attorney Clifford A. Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Waters & Dohrmann has spent decades sharpening his skills and successfully representing Pennsylvania families who have suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence. Our attorneys offer personal attention and loyalty to every client, aggressively fighting for their right to compensation. Whether in settlement negotiations or pursuing a favorable trial verdict, we are thoroughly prepared and committed to achieving a just outcome.  With our competent staff, we offer strength in numbers while providing top-notch personal service.

Cliff Rieders is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association.  Rieders has won numerous awards and recognition from the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and he received the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority recognition award.  Cliff Rieders was a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority and served on same for 15 years.  Rieders was a Law Clerk in the federal court system for one of the most well-known and longest serving federal judges in the country, the Honorable Malcolm Muir.  Cliff has received the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, as well as the Milton D. Rosenberg Award from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. Rieders is on committees and organizations that write the law in many fields of practice. He is a Nationally Board certified specialist for Civil Trial and Civil Practice and Procedure, a cum laude graduate of New York University as well as Georgetown University Law Center.

Rieders is admitted in Pennsylvania, New York State, District of Columbia and numerous federal courts including the Supreme Court of the United States.  Rieders is a life member of the American Law Institute which publishes recommended legal principles utilized throughout the United States.  Cliff Rieders is the lawyer that other lawyers call for counsel and advice in the medical and hospital malpractice and pharmaceutical/vitamin supplement fields.  Cliff Rieders does substantial work in multi-district litigation in connection with pharmaceutical products and medical devices.

At Rieders Travis, we offer a free consultation to carefully examine the individual facts in your case and determine the best way to handle it. Don’t delay. Contact today by calling or our online contact form to set up your free consultation.

Based in Williamsport, we serve clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania, offering a free consultation on all personal injury matters. More than that, we offer you experience, knowledge, compassion, and a long history of results.