Age Requirement Commercial Truck DriversJune 18, 2018
There has been an ongoing debate in the trucking industry about whether the minimum age for commercial drivers should be lowered. Those who support the lower age requirement say that it will provide job opportunities, address the driver shortage problem, and keep the economy going. However, those who oppose the lower age requirement say that drivers under the age of 21 are much more likely to be involved in serious accidents. Congress is considering legislation that will allow 18-year-olds with a commercial driver’s license to drive commercial trucks across state lines.
In many states, truck drivers under the age of 21 may only drive within their state. To cross state lines, they must be 21-years-old. This new legislation would allow truck drivers, ages 18 to 20, drive from state to state. According to a report published by the American Trucking Association, the national shortage of truck drivers is expected to increase from 50,000 to 174,000 by 2026. Over the next 10 years, a significant number of drivers will be retiring, meaning truck companies will need to hire approximately one million drivers.
The lower age requirement would also create job opportunities for young men and women who are looking for a full-time job with a decent salary. Truck drivers typically make an average of $60,000 a year. Even though it often requires the driver to be on the road for weeks or months at a time, it offers a steady salary and benefits. Many truck companies recommend that drivers under 21 participate in an apprentice program, which requires young drivers to log 400 hours on-duty, 240 of which are with an older, more experienced driver. Training trucks are equipped with cameras and run at a maximum speed of 65 mph.
Hazards Associated with Young Truck Drivers
The age requirement was initially set decades ago by the U.S. Department of Transportation in response to the high incidence of accidents involving drivers under 21. According to the president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, younger drivers lack experience that is important when operating a massive 18-wheeler. In addition, they are not as safe as older drivers when operating large trucks. In a letter written to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, he shared the alarming statistic that 19 to 20-year-old commercial motor vehicle drivers are six times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision. He went on to say that this latest piece of legislation is simply a way for the trucking industry to hire cheap labor instead of improving the industry.
Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Protect the Rights of Truck Accident Victims
If you have been seriously injured in a truck accident, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Truck accidents often cause severe injuries and fatalities to the occupants of the passenger vehicle. We will work tirelessly to secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve while ensuring that your legal rights are protected. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent truck accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.