There simply aren’t enough truck drivers in the U.S. to meet the increasing demands of the transportation and shipping industry. By some accounts, there is a shortage of nearly 50,000 drivers. In an attempt to fill the void, many trucking companies are actively recruiting retirees.
At first glance, this seems like a great solution, particularly as Baby Boomers are living longer than in generations’ past and have ample knowledge and experience in a wide range of fields. The problem is that driving – particularly operation of a big rig – requires a certain degree of physical and mental stamina that may be challenging to those over a certain age. Older drivers may struggle with worsening vision (particularly at night), reduced reflexes, waning hearing and in some cases cognitive decline. All of these could prove disastrous for a trucker.
CBS News launched a study that looked at truck accidents involving drivers over the age of 65. What they found was that between 2013 and 2015, more than 6,630 trucking accidents were caused by truck drivers who were at or past the retirement age. It should be noted that this figure only tallied crash reports from 12 states, so the actual number is much, much higher. The study also showed that in the last couple years, the percentage of crashes involving drivers in their 70s and older spiked by nearly 20 percent. That includes both commercial truck and bus drivers, and should be cause for concern and further analysis. Continue reading →