A select number of young people might feel thrilled over a new pilot program that lifts federal age restrictions on long-haul commercial truckers. Federal law limits interstate trucking to persons at or over age 21, but the pilot program will lower the age to 18 for some. While these young persons may get much-needed goods to Alabama destinations, some worry about the potential dangers associated with inexperienced drivers handling tractor-trailers.
Younger truck drivers taking on responsibilities
Driving a truck is not only about picking up cargo and delivering it on time. The process involves handling the tasks safely, and a young driver’s lack of experience could undermine safety. Regardless, a new law will start the process of putting 18-year-olds on the road.
Infrastructure legislation signed by President Joe Biden made the pilot program possible. Troubles with the supply chain and a drastic shortage of truck drivers prompted the legislation. Hiring enthusiastic new drivers could solve many problems, but critics worry about the potential hazards.
Young drivers and negligence
Speeding and distracted driving could lead to semi-truck accidents. People of any age may embrace such troubling behaviors when driving, but younger persons could be more prone. Statistics reveal that younger drivers may cause more car crashes than older ones. A teen driver might not understand the hazards associated with moving violations or paying attention to something other than operating the vehicle.
No matter the driver’s age, anyone who causes an accident may face a lawsuit. Employers and other third parties may be named in litigation if they bore any responsibility.
Lawmakers and federal regulators see upsides in putting more semi-truck operators on the road. Numerous state legislatures approved younger drivers for intrastate commercial trucking. Time will reveal if younger interstate truck drivers present increased dangers.