When you think about truck accidents, the last thing on your mind is age. Many of truckers on the roads in Knoxville and across the country are senior citizens. Some of them are so old they are approaching retirement age. Others who are old enough to retire, do not. Instead, they continue working to help alleviate the shortage in the industry and support themselves while staying active.
In the trucking industry, older drivers mean a higher rate of commercial vehicle accidents. According to CBSNews.com, from 2013 to 2015, there was a 19 percent increase in truck accidents among operators who were over the age of 70.
With old age comes a decline in cognitive function and motor skills. Many older people are not capable operating motor vehicles safely because they do not have the reaction time, nor mental clarity they need to handle various road and traffic situations. They may also need medications and have health problems that interfere with their ability to operate their vehicles safely and efficiently.
Because there is a driver shortage, the trucking industry is recruiting drivers and encouraging them to work for as long as they can. For some individuals, this means they will work until they are well past the age of 65.
Motorists should remain cautious when they are near commercial vehicles. Large trucks and semi-trailers need more time to slow and stop. Passenger car drivers should avoid blind spots and stay attentive to trucks, road conditions and other motorists to prevent and avoid collisions with commercial vehicles and other cars.