Posted on behalf of Stephens, Anderson & Cummings on Jul 17, 2015 in Truck Accidents
Lawmakers are considering allowing drivers as young as 18 to drive big rigs across the nation. Supporters say with proper oversight, teen truckers exhibit the same safety threshold as older truck drivers. However, critics say the move is a disaster waiting to happen.
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Currently federal regulations require a driver to be 21-years-old before being able to drive a commercial truck across state lines. The new bill proposed by three Republican senators would drop the age requirement to 18 for interstate trips.
However, the move would come with two major restrictions.
- Teens would not be allowed to haul hazardous material
- Teens would not carry overweight loads
Research proves teens are a high-risk group for accidents. While supporters applaud the idea as a way to combat a shortage of truck drivers, critics see tragic circumstances in their rearview.
The American Trucking Association estimates that there is a current shortage of almost 40,000 drivers. However, because of upcoming retirements and drivers leaving the industry, companies would need to hire nearly 100,000 new drivers every year for a decade to keep up with the nation’s freight needs.
According to the Transportation Department's Fatality Analysis Reporting System, teenage drivers, ages 18 to 20 are three times more likely than any other age group to be involved in a fatal auto accident. Their inexperience combined with a large truck could result in more truck accidents every year.
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The long hours, driver fatigue and the large size of the vehicles make truck driving a very dangerous activity that results in thousands of accident every year.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, contact a top Fort Worth personal injury lawyer at Stephens, Anderson & Cummings today.