Truck Accidents and the Commercial Driver Shortage

A new commercial driver safety report indicates transportation companies are processing more applicants than ever to contend with a driver shortage. In fact, the number of driver verifications tripled in the first half of 2012 over the prior year.

The American Trucking Association claims the driver shortage the industry is now experiencing — about 20,000 to 25,000 — could jump to as high as 239,000 in just 10 years. Ironically, the driver shortage may be a result of increased regulation at the federal and state level to address safety issues.

Commercial trucking firms are required to maintain up-to-date files on their drivers’ qualifications, including complete applications, motor vehicle records, road tests, physical exams and other measures designed to ensure only qualified drivers are behind the wheel.

But while the number of drivers applying for work is rising, so are the number of errors in their qualification files. This suggests drivers are giving incomplete or inaccurate information in order to gain employment.

A recent transportation study revealed that a record 43 percent of driver applications are missing or incomplete, up from 12 percent in 2010. The second most missing or incorrect information in the driver qualification files was road test documentation and the third was the medical examiner’s certificate, which evaluates whether drivers are physically up to the job.

Other top concerns with drivers’ qualifications included:

1.Inaccurate motor vehicle records, including status suspended, revoked, surrendered and expired

2.Driver’s license copies not legible

3.Incomplete safety sensitive questions, and questions left blank or completely overlooked

4.Previous employer check

Trucking accidents can have many causes, but unqualified drivers are more common than people like to think. In you have been injured in a truck accident, find out how to get help with your personal injury claim by contacting the Meehan Law Firm in St. Louis for a free consultation. To learn more about commercial truck accidents and your rights, visit


-LexisNexis® 2012 Commercial Driver Safety Report