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Do truck company hiring practices lead to truck accidents?

Many people in the New Orleans area have dealt with financial challenges stemming from the nationwide recession that began in 2008. Though the local and national economies have been steadily recovering, some of the effects of the recession linger. This is especially true among older people who have had to postpone their plans for full retirement.

Trucking is one industry that has apparently been trying to take advantage of the fact that many older people across the country are looking for new jobs after they retire from their prior ones. Given the physical demands of operating a large commercial truck for long hours at a time, it is easy to associate trucking with a younger workforce. However, truck companies have been facing driver shortages and have thus been recruiting older people to drive for them.

CBS News analyzed truck accident data and found that accidents involving drivers in their 70s and older jumped 19 percent between 2013 and 2015. As far back as the 1990s, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration warned that drivers' reaction time and stamina diminish as they get older. Accordingly, the NHTSA considered a skills test for older drivers. But that idea gave way to political and legal concerns, and now truck companies are recruiting older drivers due to shortages.

Even younger drivers can succumb to dangers like truck driver fatigue and distracted driving. Older drivers are no different, but they also face the potential pitfalls of being less physically capable of safely operating a truck.

Regardless of the trucker's age, when they cause a semi-truck accident any injured victims can seek legal redress. Although most lawsuits will be lodged against the negligent trucker, f the trucking company, too, may be held liable if it was in some way negligent, such as through its hiring or training practices. To learn more about suing a negligent trucker and the company for which he or she works, injured individuals may want to speak with an attorney of their choosing

Source: CBS News, "Are older commercial truck drivers causing more danger on nation's highways?" Oct. 18, 2016

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