Pros and Cons of Hiring Teenage Truck DriversNovember 7, 2019
According to the American Trucking Association, there is a shortage of truck drivers in the United States. In fact, this country was short approximately 50,000 truck drivers in 2018, compared to 36,000 in 2016. Many industry officials believe that one way to address the shortage is to lower the interstate driving age from 21 to 18. However, truck drivers and safety advocates believe that this could jeopardize the safety of fellow truck drivers and other motorists on the road since research shows that teen drivers are more likely to be involved in car accidents. Putting a young, inexperienced driver behind the wheel of a 40-ton vehicle can have devastating consequences.
Employment Opportunity for High School Graduates
According to the president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, lowering the driving age appeals to trucking companies because it opens a wider pool of prospective employees. In addition, because they are just out of high school and do not have any work experience, truck companies can pay young drivers a salary that is significantly less than what they would pay an older, more experienced driver. For example, the median salary for a 45-year-old is approximately $52,000, whereas the salary for an 18-year-old is $16,700.
When high school graduates are looking for a job, and there are other industries they can go into immediately, they are less likely to pursue a job as a truck driver. Currently, trucking is not a path that is available to them right out of high school. If they eventually pursue a job as a truck driver, it is likely because another job in a different industry did not work out.
Teen Drivers Get into More Accidents
Research shows that drivers aged 18 to 25 are in more car accidents than older, more experienced drivers. In fact, 18 and 19-year-old drivers have crash rates that are over two times higher than drivers in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. Some believe that no matter how much training they get, putting an 18-year-old behind the while of an 80,000-pound vehicle is irresponsible and unsafe because they are simply too immature.
The DRIVE-Safe Act requires drivers under the age of 21 to complete an apprenticeship program, which includes 400 hours of on-duty driving. At least 240 of those hours must be completed with an experienced driver. Once they complete the program, they will be eligible to become drivers. The DRIVE-Safe Act focuses on safety and creating a culture of drivers who embody a high standard of excellence.
Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Advocate for Truck Accident Victims
If you were seriously injured in a truck accident involving a teen driver, you are urged to contact the Baltimore truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. Truck accidents can cause massive property damage and severe injuries, particularly if the driver is inexperienced. We will obtain the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries and ensure that your legal rights are always 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