Here's who to blame.
With city streets deserted during the pandemic, some drivers took advantage and turned the empty roads into their own private race track. Now that restrictions are easing, more drivers will soon be back on the road as people return to work and start taking their one-year belated summer vacations after being stuck at home for what has felt like an eternity.
Well, the sooner you fill up the better, because you might have trouble finding gas this summer. According to CNN, there are fears that a lack of truck drivers delivering fuel to gas stations could cause shortages in the US. Suddenly, a lot of electric car owners are going to be feeling smug.
This is obviously bad news if you own a gas guzzler like a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat or Ford Mustang that requires frequent trips to the pump. According to the industry trade group National Tank Truck Carriers, around 20-25 percent of tank trucks in the fleet are idled due to a lack of available qualified drivers.
During the same period in 2019, only ten percent of trucks were idled for the same reason. "We've been dealing with a driver shortage for a while, but the pandemic took that issue and metastasized it," said Ryan Streblow, the executive vice president of the NTTC. "It certainly has grown exponentially."
The situation is getting desperate as many drivers quit the industry due to a lack of demand for gasoline over the past 12 months. Some drivers went to Amazon delivery, but many older ones took an early retirement during the pandemic.
Compounding the problem, not every truck driver can drive a tanker trunk because they require a commercial driver's license and an extra several weeks of training. They couldn't get that training, because many driving schools were closed down when the pandemic started. Between 40,000 and 60,000 tanker drivers were also disqualified after a federal clearinghouse identified truck drivers with previous drug or alcohol offenses or failed drug tests.