A new state law in New York is coming to the aid of the supply chain crisis allowing younger drivers, ages 18 to 20, to get a Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and drive big rigs. According to an ABC affiliate news report, before this law, only those drivers ages 21 and up could get a CDL Class A license in New York State.
This new law comes as the American Trucking Association estimates that the trucker shortage will hit a historic high of just over 80,000 drivers this year. That amounts to a 30% increase from before the pandemic. Supporters of the law believe that it will not only help ease the shortage, but also open up job opportunities for young adults. The new law however limits drivers 18 to 20 years old to drive tractor-trailers only within state lines.
Reaction to the New Law
It also requires that candidates in that age category undergo more rigorous training than normal. Proponents of the law said older drivers would mentor them and they will spend weeks alongside senior drivers. The mentors will be vetted not only for their driving skills but also for their ability to instruct the younger drivers and help them have a long and successful career in the trucking industry.
However, the law is also drawing opposition. The Truck Safety Coalition believes the new law will make roads less safe. Safety advocates who are part of the organization say teen drivers are simply not as safe as older drivers and don’t have the abilities it takes to handle the pressures of truck driving. Now that the law has been passed, the New York Department of Transportation must come up with the official rules and regulations to certify younger drivers.
Why Training and Experience is Important
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the federal agency that regulates the commercial trucking industry, sets forth guidelines and industry requirements for the training of commercial drivers. In addition to background and training courses, truck drivers must disclose any health issues that affect their ability to safely drive a large truck. Drivers must also pass licensing tests to show they have the technical skills to drive a big rig safely. They must also be able to identify any mechanical issues in the truck such as problems with brakes and tires.
Lack of experience can play a significant role in catastrophic truck accidents. Employers have a responsibility to hire and retain truck drivers who have the necessary training and experience to operate these vehicles safely. The safety of others on the roadway hinges on employers not avoiding such responsibilities.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
Victims who have been injured in truck accidents may be able to seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. Families of deceased accident victims may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages such as lost future income, funeral costs, medical expenses, pain and suffering, etc.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, or if you have lost a loved one in a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent or careless driver, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
For 50 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims. Our law firm recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
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