How are Older Commercial Truckers Impacting the Nation’s Highways?
With each passing year, America’s trucking industry continues to face a growing problem: a shortage of qualified drivers.
Although trucking companies are aggressively recruiting candidates and making hiring decisions, they’re finding it difficult to keep up with demand.
According to a recent CBS News report, approximately 10 percent of commercial truck drivers in the United States are age 65 or older. This means two things:
- Truckers will continue to retire in the years to come, meaning that the industry shortage could remain an issue.
- The increase in older drivers may translate to more danger on the road.
Due to economic concerns, some truckers have been forced to work well beyond the standard retirement age of 65. While there is nothing wrong with this in many industries, it’s posing some concerns on the nation’s highways.
In the CBS News report, a variety of crash data is shared. For example, here is one of the most telling statistics:
“Crash data reveals a 19 percent increase in accidents involving commercial truck and bus drivers in their 70s, 80s and even 90s, in just the last three years. From 2013 to 2015, there were more than 6,636 involving elderly drivers in 12 states alone.”
It’s this type of data that proves the dangers associated with older commercial vehicle operators.
While many people are in favor of more regulations, with the hope that it would improve on the road safety, progress appears to be at a standstill once again.
For example, in the 1990’s, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration realized that older drivers often had issues with stamina and reaction time. The idea of implementing regular skill tests was considered, however, it was eventually laid to rest without action due to the labor shortage.
As the industry remains the same in many ways, it is changing in others. For example, trucking companies are now implementing advanced technology with the hope of saving both time and money. If you want to learn more about the use of technology to manage fleet operations, you can learn more here.