Could a shortage of truck drivers cause safety issues - CBS46 News

Could a shortage of truck drivers cause safety issues

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

People driving around Atlanta have their safety strategies for sharing the road with big trucks.

"I give them room," driver Dennis Perry said. "I always give them room because we know they don't stop at the same pace."

More trucks could be coming because the demand for drivers is growing. Ray Redding is a truck driver recruiter.

"The industry is in need of drivers," Redding said. "This is the season for CDL drivers. We need Class A truck drivers and truck drivers period. From now until about November this is the season. So there is a huge need right now for truck drivers."

It's estimated the need for drivers will grow by 21 percent by 2020 compared with 2010.

But trucking industry attorney Joe Fried is concerned filling those positions fast could contribute to safety issues on the road.

"There is a shortage of drivers around the country and in Georgia and the Atlanta area in particular and that's causing issues," Fried said. "Companies that need people in seats driving trucks are sometimes willing to accept drivers who they otherwise, if they had other options, may not accept."

By the numbers 75 percent of commercial truck accidents are caused by smaller vehicles.

"There's no shortcuts to be taken," Redding said. "There are qualifications these drivers, after they get out of school they have to qualify."

"The motoring public needs to understand driving a tractor trailer is nothing at all like driving a car," Fried said. "They are huge compared to a car. There is a 20 to one mass ratio between the two. Their bumpers don't match up."

So the important thing is for everyone to stay alert and give each other distance for safety.

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