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Are New Truck Drivers More Dangerous Than Older Truck Drivers?

Posted on: September 19, 2023

The trucking industry is a critical part of the global supply chain. However, it is also an industry under scrutiny due to safety concerns, especially about dangerous driving practices. A truck accident is a serious problem and one of the most debated topics is whether new truck drivers pose more danger than their older counterparts.

The trucking industry faces a significant demographic shift as many experienced drivers approach retirement age. According to the American Trucking Associations, the average age of a commercial truck driver in the U.S. is 55 years old. This aging truck-driving population places considerable stress on the industry, given the physically demanding nature of the job and the necessity for experienced drivers to ensure road safety.

Federal regulations limit the number of hours a truck driver can operate consecutively to prevent fatigue-related accidents. However, these regulations often put additional pressure on older drivers, who may struggle with the physical demands of long-haul trucking.

The Cost of Hiring New Truck Drivers

Companies must hire new drivers to address the aging population of truck drivers. However, this process comes with its own set of challenges. The training requirements for new truck drivers are rigorous and time-consuming, often leading to significant business costs.

New drivers must undergo several weeks of professional training, including classroom instruction and behind-the-wheel experience. They must also pass written and practical tests to obtain their commercial driver’s license. Many trucking companies view these requirements as a hindrance, as they reduce the time a driver can spend on the road generating revenue.

The Danger of Inexperience and Age

While older drivers may face physical challenges, inexperienced drivers often struggle with judgment and decision-making on the road. Research shows that truck drivers with less than one year of experience have a crash rate nearly five times higher than those with more experience.

Interestingly, middle-aged drivers also pose a risk. A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration study found that drivers aged 46-55 had the highest crash rates, suggesting that new and slightly older drivers can be equally dangerous.

The Consequences of Dangerous Truck Driving

The consequences of dangerous truck driving extend far beyond the trucking industry. Each year, thousands of innocent people are involved in catastrophic accidents caused by reckless or negligent truck drivers. These truck accidents often occur due to driver fatigue, distraction, or poor judgment and can result in severe injuries or even death.

While the trucking industry grapples with an aging workforce and the cost of training new drivers, it must also address the safety risks of both new and slightly older drivers. Ensuring that all drivers—regardless of age or experience—receive the necessary training and support will be crucial to reducing the number of dangerous truck-related incidents on our roads.

Our Freehold Truck Accident Lawyers at Ellis Law Can Help

Semi-trucks are enormous vehicles that can intimidate even the most defensive and skilled drivers. If you find yourself in an accident with a truck, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Speak with our experienced Freehold truck accident lawyers at Ellis Law about your options. Call us at 732-308-0200 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Freehold, New Jersey, we serve clients in Asbury Park, East Brunswick, Toms River, Middletown, Jersey City, Long Branch, Neptune, Hudson County, Union County, Essex County, Monmouth County, Marlboro, and Ocean County, as well as Brooklyn and New York City.

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