CBS News: Trucking Accidents Involving Older Drivers on the Rise

May 11, 2017  |  Serious Accidents
Trucking Accidents

A CBS News investigation revealed that between 2013-2015 there were more than 6,600 commercial trucking accidents involving drivers who were in their 70s, 80s and 90s. The number of accidents jumped nearly 20 percent during that time. Because the trucking industry is facing substantial driver shortages, carriers are turning to older professionals at an increasing rate.

Big Numbers

According to the report, the industry faces a shortage of nearly 50,000 drivers. As a result, trucking companies are looking for people to fill seats wherever they can. This is the main reason that an estimated 10 percent of all commercial vehicle drivers in the U.S. are 65 years of age or older.

The investigation raised an interesting question regarding whether or not more intensive screening is needed for older drivers. As far back as the 1990s, CBS reported, the National Highway Transportation Agency considered the implementation of special skills tests, but the idea was shelved because of age discrimination concerns as well as an ongoing labor shortage.

Carriers and trucking schools alike are recruiting older drivers on a regular basis. And it makes sense, from a financial perspective, for all involved. Carriers fill labor shortages, schools, fill their classes, and drivers – many of whom may be on a fixed income – have a chance to make more money.

Unfortunately, this development raises the question as to whether the roads are becoming more dangerous as a result. No matter how skilled an elderly driver may be, it’s a fact of life that the older someone is, the less stamina he or she will have. That leads to fatigue behind the wheel, which, in turn, raises the risk of a devastating accident.

Contact Baron & Budd

If you have suffered harm due to a trucking accident – whether the cause was driver fatigue or another form of negligence on the part of the trucking company or another party – Baron & Budd may be able to help. Call 866-236-9479 or complete our contact form to learn more.

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