Should Teens Be Allowed to Drive in the Trucking Industry?

Trucking companies nationwide are pushing Congress to lower the minimum age to drive, which they think would help them meet the increasing demand for drivers.

Currently, the minimum age for Class A CDL drivers is 21 years old. There are many reasons for this being the minimum age, the main one being that driving is dangerous and experience is a key tool in keeping safe on the road. Drivers under 21 have not had the chance to become experienced drivers and driving a big truck adds another danger factor to the situation.

But recent driver shortage in the industry could be brought on by the minimum age of drivers being 21, according to some. Experts in the industry believe that they are missing out on drivers between the age of 18 to 21 because they can choose to go to trade school and work in competing industries instead of having to wait to be allowed to drive a truck.

While trucking companies want to attract younger drivers, they realize the risk involved and have come up with ways to address the risk including additional training, proper oversight, and monitoring to make sure these young drivers stay safe behind the wheel.

The additional push in recruiting young drivers comes from the aging of the current workforce for trucking industries. In the 80s and 90s, the industry had not problem recruiting drivers and gained a majority of their workforce during this time period. But as these drivers reach retirement age, the industry has not seen an increase in drivers and needs to find a way to bring in more workers. Trucking companies feel the pressure to recruit more drivers and bringing in younger drivers could help alleviate these pressures.

Do you think teens should be allowed to drive? And if so, should there be certain limitations until they gain more experience in the field?