Reports state that as of 2017, there will be more than 250,000 unoccupied truck driver positions. Of course, many trucking companies fear they may be unable to deliver or receive products in an efficient matter due to the lack of employees.
As a result, trucking companies as well as Congress have pursued efforts to have the legal interstate truck driving age lowered from 21 to 18 years old. Undoubtedly, many fear that if this law passes, there will be an increased likelihood of fatal truck accidents.
Presently, 48 of the 50 states allow 18-year-oldsto drive these large and heavy trucks. However, they must stay in the state boundaries.
Due to this current situation, representatives of the American Trucking Association feel that these 18-year-old individuals should be permitted to drive nationally. Many of these persons believe the lowering the legal age of interstate commercial truckers can fix the growing problem of unoccupied trucker jobs.
Conversely, others believe that lowering the interstate truck driving age will significantly affect the safety of those who share the road with these large, 80,000-pound vehicles. Many believe that these young drivers will not possess the adequate experience to make appropriate decisions under severe weather, road, or traffic conditions, which can lead to detrimental injuries, and in the worst cases, death.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that the young drivers’ lack of experience will greatly outweigh any kind of training they be required to undergo.
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