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Legal Blog

Pilot Program for Truck Drivers Under 21

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), nearly 4,000 trucks were involved in fatal crashes in 2014. This is, in part, due to their sheer size and weight. When a semi-truck collides with another vehicle, the force generated by the impact is monstrous. Collisions that involve semis commonly end with casualties. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a truck accident, call The Krist Law Firm, P.C. at (281) 283-8500 to see how we can help. With the help of our Houston truck accident lawyer, you may be able to obtain compensation.

Current law states that truck drivers must be 21 before they can earn their commercial driver’s license, but a new pilot program is trying to override this requirement. While bringing young drivers into the field of trucking might help the economy, many have expressed concerns, stating that it would create a safety risk for everyone on the road.

Pilot Program Overview

The new pilot program, which would be run through the FMCSA, targets drivers between the ages of 18-21 who have been trained by the military to operate trucks and other machinery. The program, which is requesting 200 members, would allow these young drivers to drive interstate tractor-trailers. Once they turn 21, they would leave the program to seek a permanent position as a commercial truck driver.

According to the U.S. Labor Department, the field of trucking has been struggling to find new talent. Employment numbers dropped for 5 consecutive months in 2016 alone. The proposed pilot program would serve as a way for young veterans to enter the trucking industry before they turn 21, as many in this age group feel discouraged. 18, 19, and 20-year-olds who are interested in interstate trucking find jobs in other fields because they are not willing to wait for a commercial license.

Potential Hazards

Those between the ages of 15 and 24 represent 14% of the U.S. population. Sadly, this same age group accounts for more than 30% of the costs of motor vehicle injuries. This data would suggest that young drivers do not have the skills or the experience necessary to perform as well on the road. Critics of the proposed pilot program know this, and they are concerned about the impact a semi-truck could have on an adolescent’s performance. If young drivers are dangerous in cars, how much damage could they do behind the wheel of a semi? Many people, even those within the trucking community, believe that truck drivers should be 21 before receiving a commercial license.

Contact The Krist Law Firm, P.C. Today

Accidents involving semis can be disastrous, and many result in serious injury or death. If you have been in a crash involving a commercial truck, contact our Houston truck accident lawyers at (281) 283-8500. We will work tirelessly to prove that you were injured due to the truck driver’s negligence. You deserve to be compensated by the company responsible for your suffering.