An assortment of drivers is behind the wheel of the 16 million large trucks on U.S. roads. Many of these drivers have years of experience, delivering supplies from coast to coast. But, thanks to the country’s current labor shortage, there remains a strong likelihood that many more inexperienced truckers will be on the road soon.
The trucking industry is short some 80,000 drivers. As a result, U.S. Congress hopes to address this issue in its bipartisan infrastructure bill. One such detail would allow 3,000 drivers between the ages of 18 to 20 to undergo training to become long-haul truck drivers. New, younger and inexperienced truck drivers potentially mean more crashes and mishaps.
Speeding and overconfidence
Inexperience can lead to many mistakes made by any truck driver no matter what age. Here are some of those mistakes:
- Turning too sharply or quickly: A collision with another vehicle is possible and so is the chance that the truck and its trailer overturn.
- Speeding and driving too fast for conditions: Safe speed signs may get ignored, especially those pertaining to on/off ramps.
- Unfamiliarity: The inexperienced driver may not know the intricacies of roadways in certain areas. Panicking, getting lost and making poor driving decisions may result.
- Failing to adjust: Congestion or wreckage from a road collision represents disruptions for a truck driver trying to meet a deadline.
- Cockiness and overconfidence: An inflated sense of oneself can lead to unsafe driving behavior, posing a threat to other drivers.
Trucking companies must be proactive in providing the necessary training for their drivers. Pairing them with an experienced colleague is good practice.
A small mistake equals a life-changing experience
While on the road, drivers cannot immediately distinguish between an experienced and inexperienced truck driver. This is why it is important for drivers to maintain vigilance when sharing the road with these colossal vehicles. Remember that the slightest mistake by a truck driver can be life-changing for you.