Because we all know teens are the safest drivers out there.
As of right now, US regulations state that semi truck drivers must be at least 21 years of age. Driving commercial trucks across state lines obviously requires responsibility and maturity. But that age limit may soon change. The Associated Press has brought to attention a new bill that was introduced by Republican senators that "would allow contiguous states that join together in 'compacts' to drop the age threshold to 18 for interstate trips. There is no limit on the number of states that could join the compacts." Interesting, but there's more:
After four years, the Transportation secretary would need to issue a report to Congress as to whether or not teen truck drivers have "an equivalent level of safety" when compared to older truck drivers. Is this bill a good idea? The AP further noted that, according to the Transportation Department’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, in 2013, "all drivers ages 18-20 had a fatal crash involvement rate, per 100,000 licensed drivers, that was 66 percent higher than drivers who were age 21 years or older." Knowing that, why has this age change been proposed? The trucking industry is short of drivers by roughly 35,000 to 40,000.
Basically, more drivers are retiring and/or leaving the industry than being replaced. These trucking companies need to hire around "100,000 new drivers a year over the next decade in order to keep pace with the country’s freight needs." Do you think teenage semi truck drivers are a good idea? Let us know what you think in the comments.