Within the United States, there are 48 different states that allow drivers as young as 18-years-old to operate commercial motor vehicles like big rigs and tractor trailers. While states take on the risk of allowing young drivers with CDLs to drive big trucks, the federal government does not currently permit people this young to cross state lines. The minimum age for drivers to be allowed to operate tractor trailers across state borders is 21. This minimum age limit means the federal government is able to prevent young teenagers from becoming long-haul truckers crisscrossing the roads of America.
Soon, however, truck accident risks could increase significantly nationwide as the federal government is considering lowering the age limit in response to truck driver shortages. If teens are given the ability to drive big trucks across the borders of states, it is likely there will be many more big rigs driven on interstate highways in Georgia and throughout the rest of the country. This, in turn, could result in more truck crashes.
Teen drivers are held to the same standard as older motorists when it comes to vehicle operation. If you are injured in an Atlanta truck accident by a teen driver or by any negligent trucker, call a Georgia truck accident lawyer for help understanding how you can recover monetary compensation for losses.
Atlanta Truck Accident Risks Could Rise Due to Teen Truckers
Bloomberg indicates the U.S. Trucking Industry has been aggressively pushing the federal government to lower the age limit for truckers operating across state lines. Congress is seriously considering making this shift and modifying the current federal rules requiring interstate truckers to be at least 21. Safety advocates, however, are extremely concerned that putting teens behind the wheels of vehicles weighing as much as 80,000 pounds is going to make the roads a much more dangerous place to be.
Data seems to support the position of safety advocates that lowering the age limit for interstate truck driving is a very bad idea. In states where people under age 21 are allowed to have CDLs and drive commercial trucks, these young drivers are anywhere from four to six times as likely to get into deadly truck accidents when compared with drivers who are 21. Young teens at age 18, 19, and 20 have limited driving experience in general (which is why graduated licensing laws exist for teens who first get their licenses) and entrusting teens with big rigs puts a tremendous amount of responsibility on them.
In 2002, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety responded to a similar proposal to allow teens to drive trucks. That proposal actually would have imposed more limits on teen truck drivers than the current rule change under consideration, but IIHS still warned that there was: “unequivocal scientific evidence of a markedly elevated crash risk among people younger than 21 who drive trucks.” Those who are victims of crashes caused by these teen drivers need to make sure they speak with an Atlanta truck accident lawyer who can help them to get compensated for losses.
The Atlanta truck accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you after an injury caused by a negligent driver. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.