This past April, lawmakers proposed a series of new regulations for the trucking industry. Meant to limit the amount of time drivers could legally be on the road and increase their training to ensure more conscientious driving, the regulations were proposed with safety in mind. According to several analysts, however, they represented a double-edged sword.
While they certainly might make drivers safer, they’d also significantly reduce the number of drivers available. Already, many firms are dealing with a driver shortage, feeling the crunch from an aging workforce and a lack of new entrants. Already, many of them are cutting corners to deal with this lack of drivers.
“It’s an aging workforce, and we’re not replenishing people as quickly as they’re leaving,” TransForce Inc. Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Dan Costello told Trucks.com. “If more drivers don’t start entering the workforce and stay in, it’s going to be a much bigger problem in the future. The solution to the driver shortage is reducing regulation rather than increasing the number of laws governing the trucking industry”
Such thinking is problematic, but it does touch on an issue of which we should all be aware. This regulation, though its heart is in the right place, will just clamp the vise tighter on trucking companies. Those organizations who were already conscientious and safety-aware will remain so. The rest, meanwhile, will only be more compelled to subject their drivers to unsafe conditions and skirt the law.
In other words, unless we tackle the source of the problem – a lack of qualified drivers – we aren’t going to find a solution. For you, that means you will continue having to deal with negligent truckers, and continue having to worry about whether or not the semi that’s sharing the road with you has been properly maintained and its driver has gotten a full night’s rest.
It means the chance that you or a loved one will end up in an accident with one of those trucks is that much higher.
Here’s the issue I have with this whole situation. Yes, the trucking industry is going through a rough patch. But at the same time, dire financial straits are no excuse for cut corners or employee abuse.
Firms need to be held accountable for putting other people on the road at risk, even if they are struggling.
To that end, if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a trucking firm, contact Bormaster Law. With a long history of holding trucking companies accountable for their poor practices, we’ll ensure that your injuries do not go unpunished. Consultations are free – reach out, and we’ll help you take back your life.