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Bill Looks to Lower CDL Age Requirements for Interstate Trucking

Posted on in Truck Accidents

Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois wrongful death attorney, Illinois truck accident lawyer,There is a bill currently sitting in the U.S. Senate that could have a significant impact on the number of tractor trailer accidents which occur on the nation’s roads. The Commercial Driver Act would allow establish a pilot program which allow interstate commercial driver’s license for 18 to 20 year olds.

The bill was filed in response to the nationwide shortage of commercial truck drivers. This shortage frequently results in overworked drivers, which often leads to tragic truck accidents. It is anticipated that shortage will continue to grow. Current shortage estimates are at 40,000 drivers, but with projected retirements and drivers leaving the industry, trucking companies will need to recruit 100,000 drivers every year over the next 10 years to keep up with demand.

All of the states have laws in place which allow people 18 years of age or older to obtain their commercial trucking license, however, the current federal law does not allow these drivers to travel over state lines unless they are 21 years or older.

The bill, if passed, would allow neighboring states to make contracts with each other regarding truck drivers 18 to 20 years of age being allowed to cross those state lines. Under the proposed law, these younger drivers would have stricter service regulation hours, additional reporting requirements, and mileage limitations.

Critics of the bill say decreasing the age requirement will do the opposite of what it is intended to do and instead of decreasing truck accidents, its passage would result in more fatalities.

One of the main oppositions is the fact that an 18-year-old driver would have no experience behind the wheel of these massive vehicles, increasing the risks of an accident. Statistics from the U.S. Transportation Department’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) appear to back that up. Drivers who are between the ages of 18 and 20 have a 66 percent higher fatal crash rate than drivers who are 21 years and older.

If you have been injured in an accident caused by a negligent truck driver, contact an experienced Lake County tractor trailer accident attorney. Call the law firm of Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. at 847-662-3303 today to schedule a consultation.





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