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Increase in freight tonnage could lead to increase in accidents

Motorists across Connecticut are used to sharing the road with tractor trailers on a daily basis. Big rigs should be operated by qualified truckers who have been trained on how to maneuver these massive vehicles alongside smaller cars and motorcycles. As the American economy improves, the industry is expected to see a substantial growth in the amount of freight that needs to be distributed. According to the American Trucking Association, freight tonnage could increase by as much as 23.5 percent by the year 2025. This growth calls for a greater number of tractor trailers to distribute goods across the state and throughout the nation. Not only does this increase have implications for the U.S. trucking industry, but it also puts drivers at an increased risk of getting in a tragic large truck accident.

One problem lies in the fact that there is a lack of qualified truck drivers to facilitate this growing need of freight distribution. Bloomberg Business reported that the number of unfilled truck driver positions continues to grow, and is expected to worsen as the demand for trained truckers rises. By the year 2020, there may be 330,000 new truck driver positions available.

In order to keep up, some trucking companies have recruited less-than-qualified truck drivers. In some cases, trucking companies may encourage truckers to skip rest periods or stay behind the wheel for extended periods of time, which is in direct violation of federal regulations. As a result, fatigued, distracted and otherwise reckless truckers pose a serious threat to other motorists on the road. Other issues, such as truck equipment malfunctions, are also cause for concern as this problems continues to escalate. 

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