There is massive trucker shortage that is crippling the trucking industry.  Many truckers are reaching retirement age in the next decade and leaving the workforce, and companies are having a tough time hiring new drivers.  The current law states that to drive a commercial truck across state lines you must have your commercial driver’s license (CDL) and you must be 21 years of age.  The U.S. department of transportation set the rule decades ago because of concerns that drivers who are under 21 had a higher risk for accidents.  Is lowering the age requirement a solution to the driver shortage?

    The department of Transportation is starting a pilot program later this year that will allow some drivers as young as 18 to drive cross-country for private trucking companies.  This program would be able to some members of the national guard and others with military experience.  Congress is also considering a piece of legislation called the Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy Act, also known as the DRIVE-Safe Act.  It would allow 18-year olds with their CDLs the Ability to drive commercial vehicles across state lines in an attempt to help prevent the nations driver shortage.

    The truck driver shortage is expected to hit 63,000 this year, according to the American Trucking Associations.  Some companies have tried to raise pay to lure more people into the industry, however it doesn’t seem to be enough for a job that requires people to be away from home for weeks at a time.

    Supporters for lowering the age requirement state that it will increase the labor pool and solve the shortage.  This will also usher a new wave of young drivers to make up for the drivers who will be retiring within the next decade.  This will also help recent high school graduates establish a career path early and gain experience for quicker advancement.

    Opponents say that drivers who are under the age of 21 have less experience and a higher risk for accidents.  Drivers who are 16 to 19 are nearly three times more likely than people over 20 to fatally crash, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  Some also say that teenagers aren’t ready for the responsibility that comes with driving an 18-wheeler that’s carrying 40,000 pounds of cargo on the highways and narrow city streets.

    No matter what happens in the upcoming weeks and months with the driver shortage PNG is here to help.  Let our experience staff answer any questions that you may have about your freight and shipments.  Please do not hesitate to contact us at 717-626-1107 x 3 or


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