Truck driving is one of the most indispensable professions in Tennessee and all across America. Long- and short-haul drivers bring perishable commodities like fresh produce to stores every day without fail. Truckers keep the American economy moving like clockwork. 

Unfortunately, the trucking industry is facing a shortage of almost 60,000 truck drivers today. The average long-haul trucker works more hours with less downtime between trips, contributing to the chances of more truck-related accidents nationwide. 

Trucking is also one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. Many truckers face night driving, poor weather conditions and tight deadlines. The most common reason for trucking accidents is driver overexertion. A tired trucker may feel they must rely on the overuse of stimulants to stay awake on a long night. Slow reaction time and poor judgment due to overexertion affects everyone on the road. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 96% of those killed in a two-vehicle crash involving a large truck were inside the passenger vehicle. 

Driverless trucks: dependable or dangerous? 

The possibility of driverless trucks is just around the corner. After a pedestrian fatality caused by a self-driving car in 2018, some worry about the safety of driverless vehicles, and trucks are no exception. However, according to American Trucker, a prominent information hub for the trucking industry, fully automated driverless trucks are unlikely ever to become a reality. Even a fully automated truck will need a human to do other essential tasks. It may even allow a driver to relax more. And a well-rested, alert driver means safer conditions on the road for everyone.