Are elderly truck drivers a high risk for accidents?

The trucking industry in the United States simply does not have enough drivers. Some estimates indicate that they need roughly 48,000 drivers.

To fill in the gap when young people aren’t turning to the trucking industry, companies have started to hire retirees. Since the recession in 2008/2009, many older people have stayed in the workforce or reentered the workforce, needing that income to make ends meet. Estimates indicate that roughly one out of every 10 drivers is at least 65 years old.

The concern, though, is that some believe older drivers are more of a danger than younger drivers, so the increase in the workforce could also lead to an increase in accidents.

Some of the stats do back up these fears. CBS News carried out a study to look at accidents from 2013 to 2015, and they found that over 6,636 of them were caused by drivers who were at or past the standard retirement age. That study only looked at the data from 12 states, indicating that the real total was much higher if that trend held in all 50 states.

Over that time, the study also found that the percentage of wrecks that involved drivers from their 70s to their 90s had gone up by a stunning 19 percent. That’s a huge rise for just three years, and it takes into account both commercial bus drivers and truck drivers.

Accidents with trucks and buses are some of the most dangerous for those in passenger cars, as the far larger vehicles can be deadly on the nation’s highways. Those who have been hurt in accidents with elderly drivers — who perhaps increased the risk and caused the accidents — need to know how to seek financial compensation.

Source: CBS News, “Are older commercial truck drivers causing more danger on nation’s highways?,” accessed Dec. 09, 2016

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