Consumers across Alabama and the United States have become accustomed to convenience while shopping in stores and online. Commercial truckers play a key role in getting those goods in the hands of the American public in a prompt and reliable manner.
As the demand for goods increases, so does the need for capable, qualified drivers to transport them safely and efficiently, and according to Trucks.com, this may be leading some companies to engage in potentially unsafe hiring and retention practices. A survey of more than 2,200 trucking companies revealed that filling available semi-truck driver positions is the single largest current challenge for the industry, leading many trucking businesses to employ older Americans.
This may pose a new set of risks for the country’s motorists, however, with CBSNews.com reporting that semi-truck drivers over the age of 70 were responsible for 679 trucking accidents on Alabama roadwaysbetween 2013 and 2015. Nationally, accidents involving truck and bus drivers over 70 years old spiked 19 percent during that same period.
There are federal laws in place that prevent employers from refusing to hire a person because of his or her age. However, federal authorities acknowledge that older drivers are more likely to experience issues with the ability to react quickly in a dangerous situationand other physical impediments to safe driving. Even so, there is no mandatory retirement age for commercial truck drivers. With some trucking schools addressing the estimated shortage of 48,000 drivers by actively recruiting older adults, truck-related crashes on American roadways may rise as a result.