A Senate subcommittee recently met to discuss lowering the age of truck drivers on U.S. roadways. A bipartisan bill seeks to authorize drivers as young as 18 to get behind the wheel of a commercial truck for interstate trips.
Currently, truckers who want to drive across state lines must be 21 or older. The bill would allow younger drivers on interstate trips after completing an apprenticeship with an experienced truck driver. The young drivers would have to complete two probationary periods that would total 400 hours, and spend 240 of those hours driving the truck under the supervision of the older driver.
Supporters of the bills call it a step towards trucking safety and a way to reduce the nationwide truck driver shortage. However, young drivers in general have higher rates of being involved in auto accidents. This leaves many questions left to be answered about how wise the plan really is.
Dangers of Young Drivers
Studies show that young drivers are more likely to be involved in crashes. This is the reason insurance companies charge higher rates when drivers are under the age of 25. Naturally, putting them behind the wheel of an 80,000-pound truck raises concerns.
The primary concern relates to inexperience. New drivers don’t have a lot of driving time under their belts, even in standard passenger vehicles. Trucks are even more difficult to maneuver and require longer stopping distances. Lowering the age for interstate truck travel would mean putting drivers with less cumulative driving experience on the road for long stretches of time.
Young truckers will carry all of the same risks that are already present with young drivers behind the wheel of smaller vehicles. The only difference is that the accidents they may cause will be much more severe.
Will the proposed apprenticeship program be enough to ease these concerns? Bence Law Firm will continue to monitor the progress of this bill and what it might mean for Alabama truck accident victims.
How Can Bence Law Firm Help Me?
The aftermath of a truck accident can be chaotic and confusing, especially if you or a loved one was injured. A Phenix City truck accident lawyer at Bence Law Firm LLC can help relieve the pressure and pursue the compensation you deserve for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses.
Call or contact us today to arrange your free consultation.