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Trucking Lifestyle Impacts Industry, Could increase Accident Risks

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For those who spend their time working in factories or in an office doing a nine to five shift, the idea of being able to travel for a living while working at your own pace sounds promising. Truck drivers are one of the few fields in which this is possible, but the reality of this type of work is much harder than it sounds. Long drives and tight schedules cause high turnover in the industry, while making truck accidents more likely to occur.

The Risks and Drawbacks Of The Trucking Lifestyle

According to an October 2017 CBS News report, the trucking industry needs to hire more than 90,000 truckers each year to keep up with the increasing demands of consumers, retailers, and product manufacturers. Roughly 70 percent of the items we use on a daily basis are delivered in from elsewhere, and without enough workers to fill these roles, it could cause product shortages, higher prices, and delivery delays. In addition to affecting our individual lives and finances, trucking shortages have the potential to impact both the local, state, and national economy.

Truck drivers can generally make decent money driving for a living, and there are numerous companies willing to train and provide rigs for new hires. So what is the problem with filling jobs? Two main reasons are:

  1. Reluctance or inability to leave friends and family members or other obligations;
  2. Trucker ‘burn out’ after several years on the road due to the demands of the job.

In addition to long days and nights away from their homes and their families, a trucker’s life on the road is far from glamorous. Most have grueling schedules and deadlines to meet, and overnight stays in hotel rooms are a luxury few truckers can afford. This means catching up on sleep in the truck cab when possible, while grabbing junk food and a quick truck stop shower whenever available. This takes a toll on the driver’s physical and emotional health, and also makes truck accidents and injuries more likely to occur.

Common Truck Accidents Causes

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that close to 90,000 serious and potentially life threatening truck accidents occur each year in the United States. Many of these are due to driver related factors which often result from spending extended time on the road. This includes:

  • Drowsy driving, and falling asleep behind the wheel;
  • Distracted driving, which includes cellphone and texting in addition to thinking about home or family, rather than focusing on driver;
  • Speeding and aggressive driving, in an effort to meet tight schedules;
  • Driving under the influence, caused by alcohol, drugs, or even prescription and over the counter medications.

When truck accidents do occur, drivers and the trucking company itself may be held legally accountable. If you or someone you care about is involved in this type of accident, call or contact Gregg Wexler at the Wexler Law Firm, P.A. online and request a consultation with our West Palm Beach truck accident attorney.

Resource:

cbsnews.com/news/america-faces-shortage-truck-drivers/

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