Will There be a Shortage of Drivers During This Pandemic?
Truck drivers are classified as essential workers, but as drivers get sick, a shortage could disrupt the supply chain.
While most of the United States is on lockdown right now, grocery stores, hospitals, and other essential industries continue to operate, and the demand for essential products has increased. Without truck drivers, these supplies would never make it to location and, as such, truck drivers are not only at the frontlines of this pandemic but are also the heroes of it.
As more drivers get sick with COVID-19 or decide to stay at home based on their status as “high risk,” a shortage of drivers becomes a looming reality.
Shortage of Truck Drivers
Truck drivers are starting to get sick, a reality that could have a ripple effect throughout the industry. If drivers contract the virus or show signs of being sick, they cannot continue working. While in times of normalcy another driver may be able to take over a sick driver’s route, as more and more people get sick or stay home for reasons related to the coronavirus, the industry is likely to experience a major driver shortage. What is more, most driving schools throughout the nation are closed, which means that new drivers cannot be trained and employed to fill the gaps.
What Does a Shortage of Truck Drivers Really Mean?
Truck drivers who are unable to work right now face personal risks, including a lack of adequate healthcare when they need it most, a lack of paid sick leave, and a lack of employee benefits, such as workers’ compensation insurance. Outside of truck drivers themselves, there is also a critical threat to society: If truck drivers stop driving and trucks stop running, even if just for a single day, medical supplies will not be delivered to hospitals, deliveries of mail and other essential materials will stop, and food shortages will begin. This could have profound and life-altering effects.
Now is the Time to Take Care of Our Truck Drivers
The best way to mitigate a shortage of truck drivers and a severe disruption to our supply chain is to make sure that drivers have the protections that they need, including personal protective equipment (PPE). Worker benefits like workers’ compensation and paid sick leave are also critical - if truck drivers are confident that they can take time off from work without retaliation and with pay should they experience symptoms of coronavirus, they are less likely to continue working, putting other truck drivers (and others) at risk of illness, too.
Our Omaha Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Care About You
If you are a truck driver, we want you to know that our Omaha workers’ compensation lawyers at Andres Law Offices, PC LLO care about you. If you have contracted the virus or suffered another workplace injury as a truck driver, we can represent you in your claim for benefits. Please reach out to our law firm today by phone or online for your free consultation.