While warm weather and an abundance of amenities that appeal to seniors make Florida a magnet for aging Baby Boomers, the state’s high number of seniors appears to have had a potentially worrisome side effect. Florida is the site of more accidents involving elderly drivers than any other state in the U.S. While this trend would be alarming regardless of the type of vehicle driven by these seniors, a recent story from CBS News suggests that elderly truck drivers might be the cause of an increased traffic safety threat. A significant shortage of truck drivers throughout the U.S. has inspired commercial carriers to undertake a new recruiting strategy of hiring older retirement aged truck drivers. In this blog, our tractor-trailer accident attorneys examine the threat to public safety suggested by the results of this new study.
Older truck drivers point out that they tend to have more experience, understanding of their rig, and cautious driving habits. However, the age-related declines in physical and mental faculties of the elderly could impair their ability to handle vehicles that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Elderly truck drivers face a more daunting task than older drivers of passenger cars. Truckers must cope with driving long distances frequently under difficult traffic conditions and tight time constraints. Although a fair portion older truck drivers might be among the safest and most skilled truck drivers, trucking companies generally do not screen employees to differentiate between these safe drivers and elderly drivers that should be removed from service. Continue reading →