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How Many Truck Accidents are Caused by Aging Truck Drivers?

When the economy took a downturn a few years back, companies across the spectrum began to hire retirees who discovered that their pensions and savings weren’t going to carry them any longer. While this might seem harmless on the surface, the habit of hiring people over the age of 65 might be playing a major role in a recent increase in truck accidents. CBS News recently conducted a five-month investigation into statistics gathered across several years. (You can view their entire article here.)

It found that about 10% of all truck drivers are at least 65 years old. Many truckers are actually in their 70s, 80s, or even their 90s. Between the years of 2013 and 2015, truck accidents involving that age group of truckers spiked 19%, amassing more than 6,600 total accidents. And that is reflective of data gathered from only 12 states – the 12 that actually record the age of a trucker that gets into an accident. It can be safely assumed that many, many more are unreported.

Dangers Caused by Older Truckers & Regulations

Part of the natural aging process is a general decline in wellness, reaction time, and the sharpness of the senses. An older truck driver, assumedly, poses a greater danger to a younger trucker simply due to the fact that their eyesight, hearing, motor control, and ability to react quickly to sudden danger are worse. All of these factors together logically lead to the conclusion that an older truck driver is more likely to cause a truck accident.

It would seem that many trucking companies are hiring droves of retirees to make up for a massive shortage in the overall trucker population. With the demand for new drivers on the rise, internal regulations and training standards may have been lessened. Unless a federal agency, such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), steps in to enforce stricter regulations, there might be nothing to curb this new problem on the roads.

If you have been hit by a truck driver and suffered serious injuries, let Dean Law Firm and our Midland-Odessa truck accident lawyer know. We work exclusively with personal injury claims, a majority of them stemming from trucking accidents; it is also worth noting that the investigation conducted by CBS News discovered that more truck accidents occurred in Texas than any other reporting state.

Call us at 432.214.8125 for more information or to schedule a free consultation.