Trucking is a difficult job. Truckers drive long hours over great distances and often must rest in their truck’s cab. Surprisingly, however, there are few requirements to get a foot in the door of this dangerous industry.
A new bill introduced into Congress could make these requirements even more lenient. Learn about the DRIVE-Safe Act and how this legislation may affect trucking safety.
What Is the DRIVE-Safe Act?
Under current federal law, individuals may obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) at the age of 18. However, commercial drivers may not transport goods from state to state until they are 21 years of age. The DRIVE-Safe Act would change that.
This legislation would establish an apprenticeship program that would allow for the legal operation of a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce by CDL holders under the age of 21. This program would require young drivers to complete at least 400 hours of on-duty time and 240 hours of total driving time with an experienced driver supervising them in the cab.
The justification behind this legislation is that the United States is experiencing a driver shortage in the trucking industry, and this would allow younger drivers to fill those vacancies. Additionally, it would give younger drivers a headstart in their careers and more time to grow into their roles.
However, this legislation comes at a price. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teen drivers aged 16-19 are nearly three times as likely as drivers aged 20 or older to be in a fatal crash. This likelihood is also greater for male drivers than female drivers. Since the trucking industry is predominantly male, this phenomenon does not bode well for industry safety should the DRIVE-Safe Act become federal law.
Injured in a Truck Crash? Contact Us Today
If you or someone you love has been harmed in a truck crash, our North Carolina personal injury attorneys are here to help. We have helped truck accident victims recover millions of dollars for medical bills, lost wages, and more. Learn how we may help you, too.
Call Lanier Law Group, P.A. at (855) 757-4204 to schedule a free consultation.