As we’re sure you’ve heard, there is a truck driving shortage in our country. Consequently, lawmakers and industry leaders are trying to find new, creative ways to combat the issue. One idea gaining traction is to lower the age requirement for new drivers from 21 years old down to 18. Changing the age could attract myriad new candidates, as there will undoubtedly be recent high school grads interested in obtaining a well compensated job with numerous perks right out of high school.
Those in favor of having congress pass the change believe it will help fill the demand for new drivers while simultaneously stimulating the economy. After all, providing young Americans with a stable income and career path can truly help most sectors of the economy, especially the local one the drivers will live full time in. Lowering the age will potentially help far more industries than just the trucking one.
But is Lowering the Age Requirement a Prudent Choice?
Not everyone is on board with lowering the age requirement, however. According to this article, teenage drivers are 3 times more likely than drivers in their 20s to get in a vehicle crash. As such, does it really make sense to endanger their lives and the lives of others by putting them and their still developing brains behind the wheel of a 16-wheeler? There are many grizzled, experienced truck drivers who believe, rightly or wrongly, that men and women that young are not mature enough nor do they have the experience needed to drive a commercial truck.
To help quell some of the fears associated with putting young people behind the wheel of a commercial truck, proponents are pushing for a mandatory training program to provide young drivers with the experience and tools they need to succeed. They also are discussing enforcing a 65-mph maximum speed limit for drivers between the ages of 18-21.
There is no easy answer to fixing truck driver shortage issues. Is this solution a smart one? It’s hard to say. If you have a strong opinion on the issue one way or the other, let us know in the comments section.
And if you need a reliable truck driver or need to find steady work as a driver, learn how Platinum Drivers can help.