It’s a well known fact that trucking and commercial vehicle accidents are not only common, but also extremely deadly, with more than 3,850 people losing their lives in 2015 due to collisions with the massive automobiles (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety).
Though a crash can arise from almost any type of preventable action, from speeding to running a red light, or texting while driving, CBS 46 has determined a possible new cause for wrecks involving large trucks occurring on Atlanta freeways this season: a shortage of qualified truck drivers.
Ray Redding, a truck driver recruiter, recently revealed that more trucks could be coming, as the demand for drivers is at an all-time high. According to CBS 46 (find a link to the article here), it’s estimated that the need for commercial truck drivers will grow by 21 percent come 2020 – compared to the need for drivers back in 2010.
Not Enough Qualified Drivers
Yet, just because there is a demand for more drivers, and there are people willing to drive, there’s simply no guarantee that qualified drivers will be hired for the available positions. Founding partner, Joe Fried, is apprehensive that filling these positions in a quick fashion could result in prerequisite safety issues and measures being thrown by the wayside.
He stated, “There is a shortage of drivers around the country and in Georgia and the Atlanta area, in particular, and that’s causing issues. Companies that need people in seats driving trucks are sometimes willing to accept drivers who they otherwise, if they had other options, may not accept.”
To promote road safety, intricate testing is put into place and must be completed before a driver can be deemed a “certified commercial truck driver.” However, in 2012, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in Georgia reported that a combined total of 27 percent of accidents were a direct result of lack of driver training or driver fatigue.
Regarding the hiring of unqualified drivers, Redding said, “There’s no shortcuts to be taken. There are qualifications these drivers, after they get out of school, must meet.”
Nevertheless, safety should always be the main priority when traveling – and by all drivers, not just those behind the wheel of a large truck or commercial vehicle.
“The motoring public needs to understand driving a tractor trailer is nothing at all like driving a car,” Fried commented. “They are huge compared to a car. There is a 20 to one mass ratio between the two.”
To put this in perspective, an 18-wheeler truck can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds compared to the weight of an average car of about 4,000 pounds. The difference in weight means a huge difference momentum and force, and this means that the truck has much more destructive power when it collides with an object. This destructive power is delivered very quickly and in a way that overwhelms the safety systems built into most cars. That is why the probability of a serious injury is so high when a truck hits a car.
About Our Firm
Fried, Rogers & Goldberg is an Atlanta-based law firm representing victims and their families injured in trucking and commercial vehicle accidents. Nearly 99% of the firm’s cases involve trucking litigation, and our firm is often contacted by other attorneys to assist in representing their trucking cases in the courtroom and to a jury.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a truck accident anywhere in the United States, you may contact our law firm seven days a week to have your questions answered, by calling 404-591-1800.