Driving a truck is not a glamorous profession. It is difficult and stressful. And its pay scale is low. The result is that new truck drivers are leaving the profession to find better jobs. There are plenty of drivers with commercial licenses, they just don’t want to drive trucks anymore.
Mr. Tim Riley, a well-known personal injury attorney in Houston, Texas, refuses to sugarcoat the situation in the trucking industry. The trucking industry’s obsessive greed has degraded safety on Texas highways and hollowed-out the profession of truck driving. In Texas the primary punishment tool available for an at-fault big truck accident is a personal injury lawsuit. But the Texas legislature and governor have now severely limited that punishment. The average trucking company has a 95% annual turnover rate of truck drivers – a mind-numbing number. How would the public feel if city police departments or school teachers had a 95% annual turnover rate? If there is no severe punishment or dis-incentive then trucking executives will not change their behavior – they will continue with their profit-driven decisions at the expense of the safety of the Texas public and truck drivers.
There is no shortage of truck drivers. This widely circulated statement is a myth. There are plenty of truck drivers with commercial licenses. There is a shortage of truck drivers willing to remain truck drivers for any length of time. The problem is truck driver retention. Truck drivers are leaving their jobs and searching for other jobs that offer better pay, better benefits, and better working conditions.
The trucking industry is receiving money from the federal government to pay for training new truck drivers. But the truth is that the job of a truck driver is difficult and the trucking industry has underpaid and underappreciated truck drivers for a long time. Texas highway fatality and serious injury rates are up and the number of “working” truck drivers is down. The good news – for the trucking industry – is that profits are up.
Why Do 95% Of Active Truck Drivers Quit Every Year?
– low pay
– no pay when waiting for cargo to load or unload
– high stress
– poor working conditions
– time away from family
– substandard / poor training
– lack of respect
– misled about the job pay and conditions by the trucking industry
Large trucks are very heavy vehicles with heavy cargoes. Any truck wreck at high speed on a Texas highway has the potential to be horrific and catastrophic.
Common And Serious Medical Injuries From Large Truck Accidents
– traumatic brain injuries that are often permanent
– paralysis and spinal cord injuries
– organ damage
– broken bones
– permanent disability
Common Financial Costs of Large Truck Accidents
– medical bills
– physical therapy
– mental health therapy
– lost future income
– loss of quality of life
The Trucking Industry Is UnWilling To Pay To Fix The REAL Problems In Trucking
This is not rocket science. Poor driver training and poor driver retention rates will continue. The trucking industry and trucking executives are not going to change their very profitable business model without an outside influence. And as mentioned earlier, Texas lawmakers have given the trucking industry financial protection by capping the amount of money in personal injury lawsuits in the state of Texas. The ones getting the “short end of the stick” are people and families that have been impacted by horrific large truck accidents. Most people feel that trucking companies should be held liable when their actions, such as poor training and poor supervision of truck drivers, results in at-fault truck wrecks. Some of these truck accidents are almost beyond imagination and it affects families for a lifetime.
The Truck Driver Solution
“Unfortunately it will require federal intervention and nationwide standards to fix the trucking industry. Training standards will have to be established and followed. Pay and benefits will have to be increased to keep experienced drivers in the business. And significant penalties will have to be enforced when trucking companies fail to comply with federal laws and rules. That will be a tall order, and frankly, I don’t see it happening anytime soon. The trucking companies have support from politicians. And despite the fact that Texas leads the nation in fatal truck accidents, there is little public demand for more and better trucking regulation. If the airline industry were run like the trucking industry we would have an airplane or two falling out of the sky every week,” stated Mr. Riley.
Tim Riley has 30+ years as a personal injury attorney and has represented numerous victims in truck accident lawsuits. There will always be reckless, negligent, and apathetic people in the trucking industry. They should be forced to compensate those who have been injured or killed due to their irresponsible behavior. Sometimes they are sent to prison. But a personal injury lawsuit will force the responsible parties to face a jury and pay for the medical costs, lost income, and pain and suffering of the victims. Mr. Riley’s job is to help the victims and families repair their lives and move forward.