The trucking industry has been suffering due to a lack of drivers in Connecticut and other states. This has affected the transport of goods across the country negatively. To combat the problem, the minimum age to obtain a trucking license was dropped from 21 to 18 years old in a three-year pilot program, despite opposition from safety advocates. One of the main reasons that safety advocates were against the change is that some statistics indicate teen drivers are four times more likely to get into a crash than older individuals. If 18-year-olds are allowed to drive large trucks, it could lead to devastating results.
Have changes in the trucking industry made it more dangerous to be on the road?
Changing the minimum age that a driver can get behind the wheel of a big rig may make the roads more unsafe across the country if more 18-year-olds start driving semi-trucks. Working in this industry can be demanding as a driver travels about 125,000 miles each year, spending around 300 days a year on the road. The possibility of getting tired while driving increases with each mile, boosting the likelihood for a motor vehicle accident to occur.
Safety advocates are closely monitoring the situation
While it may help the economy to have more drivers available as they’ll be able to transfer more products back and forth across states, all of the factors involved in the decision should be closely examined. A significant number of safety advocates don’t like the idea of letting 18-year-olds drive 80,000-pound trucks regularly on the interstate highways. They will closely watch the statistics to see if the number of crashes increases due to an influx of younger drivers.
Knowing that teenagers have a record of being in more automobile crashes justifies the cautionary stance by safety advocates. Time will tell if this regulation change is a good idea or not.