Age limits: one of the issues that the trucking industry has to deal with. But, that might soon change, if a new bill is passed by Congress. Many are crossing their fingers for this bill to go through, which would allow 18-year-olds to become drivers in the industry.
Prospective drivers at that age wouldn’t have to wait until they are 21 to get a trucking industry job. Instead, they could jump right into the profession and start making money early on, as well as adding to the economy and helping the trucking industry.
In addition to lowering the age limits, the new bill, the DRIVE-Safe Act, would increase the safety-training standards throughout the industry. Many believe that the age limits are outdated and, frankly, silly. Especially now, with the driver shortage, the younger generation could help the industry if they got to work sooner. In fact, some estimates show that over the next ten years, the industry will need an additional 890,000 drivers. This number would just be to keep up with the demand of supplies.
Impacts of the Age Limits
This issue impacts young people and the trucking industry throughout the country. But in Mississippi, for example, some believe this problem is paramount. The state allows for intrastate deliveries at the age of 17. While these teenagers can earn a commercial driver’s license, they are restricted from driving across state lines.
Meaning, they are willing and able to do the work, but the laws restrict them from delivering goods outside of the state. This means that those younger drivers aren’t allowed to capitalize on the money they could be making in the industry, which may cause them to turn away from it all together. This puts a damper on the economy of the state, as well as in the country.
What do you think about the age limits for truck drivers? Should the age be lowered to help fight the trucker shortage and give young drivers a chance at the job?