Most people in the U.S get their license when they’re 16, and in other countries that age is even higher at 18. It’s often an exciting time, one filled with new adventures and the opportunity to even get a job. Usually, it takes a couple of years to get the driving thing down completely, and most people don’t even move beyond cars. But what about trucks? Typically, truckers have no overlap with this teen demographic, instead, they’re older and experienced. Afterall, hauling loads of cargo from coast to coast is no easy feat. Truckers need to be trained for a variety of situations and be responsible as drivers. Today, however, this could be changing as 18-year-olds have been allowed to take the wheel of a big rig. The reasoning for this appears to be a major industry wide shortage of drivers, which has only gotten worse during the coronavirus pandemic. Just last October, the American Trucking Associations said the industry needed about 80,000 more drivers to meet what they needed. In order to fill in the gap, and with self-driving trucks still a few years away at best, 18-year-olds were the primary pick.
Not everyone was happy with this decision. Safety advocates, for example, have objected, stating it is extremely dangerous to place inexperienced drivers at the controls of some of the biggest, heaviest vehicles on the road. To counter this, or at least address it in some capacity,
Trucks set to be used in the program will be implemented with certain safety technologies, including automatic emergency braking, a top speed automatically limited to 65 miles per hour, and forward-facing video cameras. What do you think about this solution to the driver shortage? And will this pose a safety concern on highways across the country?
I am not a financial advisor and my comments should never be taken as financial advice. Investments come with risk, so always do your research and analysis beforehand.