The Wall Street Journal noted today (July 16, 2012, page C1) that the trucking industry is currently short 20,000 drivers. The ATA has estimated that by 2014 the industry will be 111,000 drivers short – a fact I blogged about HERE back in 2007.
The only reason the current shortage isn’t worse is the economy is in the tank. As the economy begins to revive, things will get much worse on the roads. Dangers from tractor trailers – where almost 20% of trucks on the road are already unsafe – will increase if trucking companies attempt to fill this gap with unsafe truck drivers.
A trucking company has a choice in whether to put an unsafe, untrained driver on the road. It is far better for a company to turn down a contract, even if it might garner a few extra dollars, if accepting the contract would require the trucking company to use a driver that might kill or maim someone in a wreck.
I know what the companies should do, I pray every night about what they will do.