Retail expert, Burt Flickinger, reveals that the reasons why there is a driver shortage are isolation and poor working conditions. There appears to be a lack of qualified professional truckers because of high turnover and bad working conditions. Drivers are leaving in search of better-paying jobs, benefits, and conditions. They are not satisfied or happy with the present lifestyle that it offers as a living. We take a look at why.
The Shortage Is Real
The American Trucking Association reports that by 2030, around 160,000 drivers are needed to fill the shortage. These figures are expected to rise in the next few years. Not surprisingly, the turnover rate in the truck driving industry is over 90% and it’s not because of a lack of interest. In fact, there are many that aspire to make truck driving a career. Unfortunately, once they discover the low wages, often miserable working conditions, and the demands of the job, they decide to pursue other things or abandon the idea.
Safety is also a major concern when driving trucks. You must be extra vigilant and pay attention to the road and at the same time, respect the mandatory breaks and resting sessions. Accidents cannot be ruled out as well as injuries and fatalities. For example, most truck accidents occur on freeways. In the US, there are many dangerous highways such as the Interstate (IS) 4 connecting Tampa to Daytona Beach. Texas has also its share of dangerous highways such as TX 183 passing through Fort Worth, Irving, and Euless. If a crash occurs on the highway involving a truck, property damage, injuries, and death are all possible. Trucks have a hard time stopping because of their size and weight. And it’s often the smaller vehicles that fail to recognize this and step in front of a truck that can cause the accident. However, they are also bound to suffer the most damage. In this case, an 18 wheeler accident attorney must prove that the truck is at fault to pursue compensation for the aggrieved parties. If it is the truck driver’s fault because of inadequate training or high speeds, they will likely lose their job if employed by a company and be held accountable for their actions.
Apart from the high risks of getting killed on the job, a major factor that contributes to the scarcity of truckers is the often-sad lifestyle. Truckers drive thousands of miles alone and when they stop, they look for suitable parking that must also offer bathroom, shower, and dining options. Unfortunately, while parking may be in abundance, there is much to be said about the facilities and quality of food offered.
All the days of staying on the road also take a toll on the body. Drivers say that their bladders are overstretched, and they don’t get exercise ending up with all types of heart and health diseases. In addition, they cannot build personal relationships as they are on the road most of the time. Even if they have families, the partner bears the sole responsibility for childcare. Says Steve Viscelli of the University of Philadelphia, “Truck drivers are really just bad jobs.”
Hence, unless better pay and working conditions are improved, the driver shortage is going to worsen over time. Furthermore, the threat of automation also disincentivizes truckers encouraging them to move to other jobs that are more secure and better remunerated.