New Rule Allows 18-Year-Olds to Drive Trucks Across State Lines

The trucking industry in America is dealing with a shortage of qualified drivers. Currently, a shortage of 80,000 truck drivers is adversely affecting the supply chain, as reported by Fortune. In response to this situation, the federal government has established the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program, which will allow 18-year-olds with a state issued CDL and a clean driving record to drive big rigs across state lines, under the supervision of an experienced commercial driver.

Conditions Under Which 18-Year-Olds Will Be Allowed to Drive Semi Trucks Across State Lines

  • New Rule Allows 18-Year-Olds to Drive Trucks Across State LinesThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will issue an exemption to the age restriction for every 18-year-old truck driver admitted to the program.
  • Safety technology must be installed in all trucks used in the program. This technology will include automatic limits on speed set at 65 mph, automatic emergency braking, and forward-facing video cameras.
  • Apprentice 18-year-old drivers will not be allowed to drive trucks hauling hazardous materials or more than one trailer.
  • Drivers training apprentices must be at least 26 years of age and have at least five years of experience driving semi trucks, and two years with no citations or crashes.

Reservations of Highway Safety Advocates About the Program

  • The Truck Safety Coalition has objected to the program, as reported by CNN. The coalition’s executive director called for the Transportation Secretary to demonstrate a genuine commitment to safety and use his authority to terminate the program after the first serious injury or fatality.
  • The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) cited a University of Michigan study in which researchers found a 500% increase in injury crashes among truck drivers under the age of 21, as compared to drivers overall.
  • The president of the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is quoted as stating, “It makes no sense to put one of the most dangerous driving populations behind the wheel of 80,000 pound rigs.” She recommends dealing with the truck driver shortage by increasing pay, reducing driving hours, and making the job more appealing.

Why You Need a Colorado Truck Injury Attorney After a Serious Truck Accident

A collision between a huge semi tractor-trailer and a much smaller passenger vehicle is likely to cause serious, catastrophic, or fatal injuries to passenger vehicle occupants. Truck accidents are complex cases involving federal and state regulations and multiple potentially liable parties. Trucking companies and their insurers have teams of lawyers on their payroll ready to fight against your claim. If you have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a crash caused by a negligent truck driver, your best chance of recovering full compensation is to have an experienced truck accident personal injury lawyer handling your case.

Why Choose Us?

At the Bussey Law Firm, P.C., we provide individualized representation for our personal injury clients. We have a history of success recovering compensation for people injured in commercial trucking accidents. Founding attorney Timothy Bussey has been named as Top Attorney in Colorado Springs by Colorado Springs Style Magazine for nine years in a row. He has been selected among the Top 10 Attorneys in Colorado by the American Institute of Personal Injury.

We can thoroughly investigate your truck accident to determine what caused the crash and who is liable and secure evidence to support your claim. Our Colorado Springs personal injury lawyer can assess the the full scope of your losses, negotiate with the insurance companies, demanding fair compensation, and fight for what you deserve in court, if necessary.

We offer a free initial consultation. Contact us at (719) 401-0585 to find out how we can help after a truck accident resulting in serious injury or death.

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