The Impact on Safety and Driver Numbers By Reducing the Legal Age of CDL Drivers

The trucking industry has been suffering from a recruitment headache in recent times, as the new generation feel that they can’t meet the lifestyle requirements that trucking involves. Because of this shortage, we have seen the cost of freight increasing and causing trucking companies a lot of problems trying to fill vacancies. Because of the shortage of these suitably qualified truck drivers, many trucking companies are having to hire drivers who have far less experience than they would normally accept. This is according to Greg Baumgartner, who is a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer.

The Shortage

A number of reasons have been offered as to why there is a shortage. Many industry experts point to the comparable low pay compared to other jobs and the lack of a family or social life. You can see why that this puts a lot of the new generation off from applying to be a truck driver.

Despite measures being introduced to increase the pay and bonuses for truck drivers, the median salary for qualified truck drivers is still quite low.

To combat the shortage, a bill has been recently introduced with the aim to reduce the age of those able to drive across state lines in their trucks. This proposed bill is for those drivers who drive professionally with a CDL. Even those in the trucking industry believe this is short sighted, as it may impact on safety, as inexperienced and young drivers are more prone to accidents.

Why Experience Matters

Research has found that the level of safety generally increases, as the age of the driver increases. This subsequently results in less accidents taking place with more experienced drivers. The vast majority of accidents occur when a young and inexperienced driver is behind the wheel, and by lowering the age, we are letting more inexperienced drivers on the road.

Because of the high number of deadly 18-wheeler accidents in Texas, we believe that reducing the legal age of a long-haul driver to below 21 will fail to have an impact on the number of truck drivers, but instead have a severe effect on the safety of our highways. The only way to remedy the shortage of new drivers is to pay higher wages and provide benefits to these drivers, which allow these trucking jobs to be filled with those who have experience and a track record of safe driving.

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