FMCSA Considering Program for Teens to Drive Commercial TrucksJune 18, 2019
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has developed a proposal that would expand the number of teen drivers that can operate an 80,000-pound commercial truck. An earlier pilot program gave approximately 200 18 to 20-year-olds, who had military training, the opportunity to drive trucks in interstate commerce. The new pilot program proposed by the FMCSA would allow non-military teen drivers to drive a commercial truck. The FMCSA is seeking comments from the public about topics ranging from training and qualifications to driving limitations and vehicle safety systems involving non-military drivers between the ages of 18 and 20.
According to the FMCSA Administrator, this would create more jobs in the commercial motor vehicle industry, but they want to maintain the highest level of safety for drivers and other motorists on the road. He expressed that they want to hear from stakeholders about any questions or concerns they may have about this pilot program. Some industry leaders, including the president and CEO of the Owner-Operated Independent Drivers Association, believe that 18 to 20-year-old drivers do not have enough experience to operate a large commercial truck, and that it would likely lead to an increase in severe truck accidents. While training may help, many do not believe that it would make up for the lack of maturity and experience that teen drivers typically have.
However, the president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations believes that this program would allow more people to participate in the trucking industry. The average starting salary for a truck driver is approximately $43,000. Expanding the age requirement would create employment opportunities for young adults who are interested in a well-paying job with benefits.
Truck Accidents Caused by Driver Inexperience
Inexperience behind the wheel is a valid concern, especially when the vehicle is an 80,000-pound truck. While driver inexperience can be difficult to prove in the event of a truck accident, the following can provide evidence to support a claim against a truck driver:
- Lack of training certificates
- The motor carrier’s training record
- Driver logs
- Driver’s employment application
- Receipts from weigh stations
- Footage from surveillance cameras near the scene of the accident
- Testimony from witnesses at the scene
- Photographs from the accident scene
Truck accidents can cause major property damage and severe injuries. If the other motorist involved in the accident files a personal injury claim, they may seek the following damages:
- Medical expenses and prescription medication costs
- Lost wages and loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages if the truck driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Compensation for Truck Accident Victims
If you were injured in a truck accident involving an inexperienced driver, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will determine whether the driver had the proper qualifications to operate a commercial truck and hold the negligent party liable for your injuries. 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.