Perhaps you’ve suffered serious injuries in a truck crash caused by a teenage driver in California. This state, as with every state with the exception of Hawaii, does allow those as young as 18 to get a CDL, but with one limitation: They cannot travel out of state until they turn 21.
Of course, you probably know now from first-hand experience that even when traveling intrastate, teenage truckers can be a danger. Their crash rate is significantly higher than that of other CDL holders, according to the Truck Safety Coalition. Yet there’s a bill out that proposes to eliminate this limitation and let truckers under 21 travel interstate.
About the DRIVE-Safe Act
The DRIVE-Safe Act is a bipartisan bill that was introduced in February 2019. If passed, it would set up an apprenticeship program where truckers under 21 complete a total of 800 driving hours, over half of which must be under the supervision of a trucker 21 or older.
Objections to the bill
The American Trucking Association has called the bill safety-minded and responsible. Yet numerous groups, including the Truck Safety Coalition, oppose it. Having inexperienced truckers drive in unfamiliar states may only wind up raising the risk for crashes.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association objects to the bill from a different angle. It has stated that the bill is meant to fight a driver shortage in the trucking industry when, in fact, there is no such shortage. Such a measure, then, can only compound the actual problems faced in the industry.
A lawyer who invests in your case
If you’ve been hurt in a truck crash, you’re likely wondering if you have good grounds for a personal injury case and how hard it might be to prove that the trucker was negligent. A lawyer could help answer these questions. Legal counsel could actually handle every step of the filing process, from the gathering of evidence to the negotiating of a settlement. If the trucking company refuses to pay out, then the lawyer may recommend taking the case to court.