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Driver Shortage Puts Lives at Risk

two-semi-trucks2.jpgAmerica's economy depends upon the transport of freight from ports and warehouses to stores and offices. It's a task that requires patience, skill, and experience to successfully achieve. It's a job that's becoming more difficult as the trucking industry faces shortages of experienced and qualified drivers.

As 2016 begins, it is estimated that the trucking industry has a shortage of 48,000 drivers. It is estimated this shortage will grow to 174,000 by 2024. The shortage of truck drivers will have a negative impact on driver safety throughout the country.

"The shortage of drivers means that drivers are being asked to work longer hours, on longer routes. It also means companies are hiring "green" drivers with little experience and minimal training. It is the beginning of a dangerous, and potentially deadly trend." remarked Johnson City semi-truck accident lawyer Tony Seaton.

The shortage of drivers is hitting smaller carriers the hardest. Unable to compete with the salary packages offered by larger companies, they are increasingly hiring unqualified and inexperienced drivers to transport shipments. In one example, Cool Runnings Express based out of Kentucky hired a driver named Ben Brewer. Brewer was unable to secure employment with a larger carrier due to prior drug convictions. Cool Runnings Express hired him despite this record. On June 25th, he was involved in an accident in Chattanooga that killed 6 people. He had been employed by the company for 3 days.

"Cool Runnings Express was negligent in hiring Brewer. They hired a driver with a verified history of safety violations and federal trucking laws. That decision cost 6 people their lives and has led to multiple lawsuits being filed against the company. Unfortunately, they are not the only carrier doing this and putting motorists at risk in the process," lamented semi-truck accident lawyer Tony Seaton.

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