There is a massive shortage of truck drivers across the United States and some industry advocates believe that this could lead to younger and less experienced drivers getting their CDLs and hopping behind the wheel of some of the biggest and deadliest trucks in the country.
There has not been enough qualified entrance to replace drivers who have left due to retiring or opting to leave the industry. The American Trucking Association currently estimates that the country is short by approximately 50,000 truck drivers. The ATA has recommended that the minimum interstate driving age be reduced from 21 to 18. However, truck drivers and safety advocates believe that too many inexperienced and young drivers behind the wheel could put not just truck drivers, but other motorists and pedestrians on the road at risk of severe truck accidents.
Two politicians recently submitted the DRIVE-SAFE Act as a way to get high school graduates an opportunity to find a job as a truck driver and to earn a good salary. However, the current restriction on inter-state truck driving is 21. The people pushing for the bill believe that recruiting teens right out of high school could address the driver shortage problem. However, statistics show that younger drivers are more likely to be involved in significant crashes. For car accidents overall, drivers between the ages of 18 and 25 have the highest rate of crashes of adult drivers.
The crash rate of 18 and 19-year olds is also more than twice as high as older adults. Putting that person behind the wheel of an 80,000 lbs. truck could significantly increase accident risks. If you have already been hurt in a trucking accident, now is the time to protect your rights by filing a lawsuit with Indiana personal injury lawyers.
If more teenagers end up on the road because of changing rules and the need for the trucking industry to pull in new employees, proper training will be a must in order to reduce the risk of catastrophic accidents.