Age May Not Be Linked to Truck Driver SafetyTampa Bay Legal News
When new, young, novice drivers take the wheel by themselves, it is often a nerve-wracking time for parents. There is plenty of evidence that shows inexperienced younger drivers are a high-risk group for causing car accidents. The data backs up this notion with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explaining that car accidents are the second leading cause of fatalities amongst teens.
For example, teenagers aged 13 to 19 years old reported as high as 2,400 deaths in 2019 alone from automobile accidents in the United States. That same year, there were 258,000 injuries from car accidents that required treatment in emergency rooms for this age group. This comes out to a daily toll of teenage deaths and injuries from car accidents that are often preventable.
When it comes to large truck accidents, the aftermath of these incidents is more often than not catastrophic for other passengers in smaller vehicles. Which, given the data on young drivers in private vehicles, it would seem that young truck drivers would be a deadly combination. However, a study out of Virginia Tech shows that age may not be a limiting factor with respect to improved truck safety.
How Can Age Help or Hurt Truck Drivers?
Currently, for a new driver to be able to obtain their commercial driver’s license or CDL, they must be 18 years of age in the state of Florida. If they would like to use their CDL to drive a commercial truck across state lines, then they must be 21 years old. Though, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has been looking into programs and alternative methods to lower the age for driving a truck across state lines.
According to the study that examined commercial vehicle driver age and experience with risk, the findings seemed to show that younger age could be an advantage and not necessarily an impediment for truck drivers. Some of the key conclusions included:
- Younger drivers may not have an attitude that they know better and as a result, be more cooperative and open to training and learning safe driving procedures.
- Younger people have quicker and sharper reaction times to respond to changing situations.
- Younger drivers may have an increased desire to show their worth and work hard to follow all guidelines correctly.
- The majority of traffic violations and accidents happen in the first year of a driver’s career irrespective of their age.
- Drivers with 10 years of experience operating a commercial truck have similar crash rates to others of any age with the same amount of experience.
- Beginner truck drivers aged 55 years old report more traffic accidents than younger drivers who are also new with the same amount of experience.
Driving a truck is a complicated task, much more than operating a passenger vehicle which is why proper training is necessary. Still, this study suggests that with the right training and similar years of experience, younger drivers may be just as safe if not more than those truck drivers who are older.
Speak with a Florida Truck Accident Attorney Today
Truck accidents can have devastating consequences for victims no matter who the driver is and how old they are. If you were injured in a Florida truck accident or lost a loved one in a fatal crash, please call the Tampa truck accident attorneys at Fulgencio Law to schedule a free consultation to discuss your accident experience at (813) 463-0123.