Truck Driver Madness: 18-year-olds crossing state lines in 18-wheelers

Truck driver age restrictions are being reduced

3 ways to protect and manage your fleet once changes take place.

Changes in truck driver age restrictions 

Due to a vibrant economy, the US is experiencing a shortage in truck drivers. To alleviate this issue, DRIVE-safe (Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy Act) is looking to make changes to a long-established federal rule. The rule was created to promote truck driver safety by prohibiting individuals under the age of 21 from transporting goods outside of the state in which they are licensed.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are now proposing to permit individuals as young as 18 years old to transport goods across state borders.

Adjustments to this federal rule are being proposed to alleviate the shortage of truck drivers in the US. However, truck driver safety must not be compromised in order to fill employment gaps.

Inexperience increases risk                     

Teenagers are 3 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident when compared to drivers of all ages. This, along with the necessary motor skills it takes to operate an 18-wheeler, should be enough to conclude that an 18-year-old should not be permitted to drive such long distances. The most prevalent distractions include cell phone use, being lost in thought, or letting one’s mind wander. These distractions are more than likely to happen during a long trip. In addition, controlling a massive vehicle that requires experience in managing speed, weight and road restrictions should be left to individuals that are much more experienced and mature.

The number of risks that can be incurred by companies due to this policy change are immense. An increase in lawsuits, property damage, and even fatalities are foreseen to be incurred. Companies choosing to take advantage of the policy change by hiring young and inexperienced truck drivers, may experience short-term benefits while the associated costs are overlooked.

While federal policy changes are inevitable, the way companies react and adjust to them isn’t. Below are 3 steps you can take to help ensure safety and reduce risk.

 1: Install GPS fleet management technology

GPS fleet management technology like FieldLogix has helped trucking companies ensure fleet safety by providing speeding reports, monitoring aggressive driving, and sending managers engine health alerts.

2: Use a mobile dispatching application like Goose

Mobile dispatching applications like Goose empower trucking companies to build and dispatch optimal routes to enhance employee supervision, improve communication, and improve client satisfaction.

3: Monitor your fleet 24/7

Use a user-friendly fleet management system like FieldLogix to connect your organization with your field resources and receive valuable information that dramatically improves your business.

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