CBS News looks at how the increase in older drivers translates to potential danger on the nation’s highways.
Source: CBS News by Kris Van Cleave
America’s trucking industry is facing a severe driver shortage. One estimate says about 48,000 drivers are needed to move 70 percent of the nation’s goods.
Companies are aggressively recruiting retirees. Drivers more than 65 years old make up about 10 percent of commercial vehicle operators in the U.S. A five month investigation by CBS News looks at how the increase in older drivers translates to potential danger on the nation’s highways.
This trend is a result of the recent downturn in the economy, reports CBS News correspondent Kris Van Cleave. Individuals are working well past the retirement age of 65. But as the industry has changed, the rules of the roads have not kept up with the times — raising the question: Is more screening needed for commercial drivers?
It was supposed to be a celebration for the Hooks family, driving from Oklahoma City to St. Louis in the summer of 2009 to see Ronnie become an elder at his church. But on I-44 near the state line, traffic slowed to a crawl.
“I was on the phone with them when it happened on that day, and the phone just went dead,” Ronnie said.
The semi driven by 76-year-old Donald Creed rolled on top of three cars, killing 10, including Hooks’ parents and two brothers. …(read more)
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