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Truck driver shortage could lead to problems on the road

Driving a big rig truck for a living is not an easy job. Truck drivers must spend long, lonely hours on the road, often traveling in the dead of night. In addition, truck drivers frequently face a variety of health maladies due to lack of exercise and limited healthy eating options while traveling.

And perhaps these reasons contributed to the recent news that the trucking industry is facing a severe driver shortage. According to a report released by the American Trucking Associations in October of last year, this shortage stands at nearly 48,000 drivers and is anticipated to increase as time passes.

And according to the ATA's president and CEO, the problem isn't simply about quantity; it is also about quality. The ATA reports that 88 percent of carriers stated that the majority of applicants for driving positions are under qualified.

The ATA report found two major factors contributing to the shortage. First, 45 percent of the shortfall is the result of drivers retiring. And around one-third of the shortage is attributable to industry growth. All told, the ATA estimates that the industry could be short by 175,000 drivers by 2024.

These are worrisome statistics, not only for the trucking industry, but for all of us who share the Texas roadways with big rig trucks. The severe shortage could lead to trucking companies hiring drivers who lack the proper qualifications or who are in some other way not fit to take to the road.

Unqualified truck drivers pose an incredible danger to all other road users. If you have been involved in a truck accident caused by an unqualified driver, the company that hired that driver should be held accountable for its negligence. A Texas truck accident attorney could perform an investigation of the accident. The attorney can check on the truck driver's qualifications in an effort to prove liability and help you get appropriate compensation.

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