Will Eased Regulations Boost the Appeal of Commercial Trucking?
Will Eased Regulations Boost the Appeal of Commercial Trucking?

The trucking industry has recently made claims that there is a shortage of nearly 60,000 commercial truck drivers. If true, this is a cause for concern, considering around 70% of freight in the United States is transported by commercial semi-trucks.

One theory on the cause of the apparent loss of interest in trucking suggests that age plays a key role. Currently, the minimum age to operate a commercial semi-truck is 21. By cutting off younger drivers who are otherwise licensed to drive, the theory hypothesizes that many of those individuals have already decided on a career path.

Considering the median age of truck drivers exceeds the median age of workers in other industries, and the average truck driving trainee is 35 years old, age may indeed be a considerable factor.

Other Theories to Explore

Another suggested cause of the shortage is the lifestyle imposed by the industry. Truckers typically spend one to two weeks on the road at a time. This is not suitable for many individuals who do not wish to frequently spend extended periods away from friends and family.

The trucking industry has also suggested restrictive regulations have lessened the appeal of driving. Currently, drivers are limited to 60 hours on the road per week. And while most drivers reach this cap, they are not paid overtime for working over 40 hours in the week.

Newly revised hours of service (HOS) regulations, which are being celebrated by many drivers, may make some difference. The revised rules permit drivers to now take mandated 10 hour rest periods in splits of 7 or 8 hours in the sleeper berth and 2 or 3 hours outside of the berth. The 10 hour period, regardless of split choice, will not count against drivers’ 14-day driving window.

The new rules also permit short-haul drivers to now remain on duty for up to 14 hours instead of 12, and extends time caps for all drivers operating under adverse conditions.

Reviewing the Statistics

While truck drivers claim these new rules will facilitate safety, they do permit more time on the road for drivers. Considering crash statistics, this may be a cause for concern. In 2017, 25% of fatal trucking accidents occurred in the evening and overnight hours, even though there is far less traffic on the road during these periods. This raises questions as to whether drivers are getting enough sleep to safely operate their trucks.

The Palm Springs Vehicle Accident Attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group

Our firm of car crash attorneys in Palm Springs has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the California personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in an accident and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today at (760) 536-8017 for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, and Yucca Valley and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.

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