IIHS urges caution on allowing young interstate truck drivers

July 17, 2019

More research into the crash risk of truck drivers under age 21 should be conducted before allowing them to drive between states, IIHS said in a recent regulatory comment.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requested comments on a possible pilot program to allow 18- to 20-year-old drivers to operate commercial vehicles in interstate commerce. Such drivers can already operate commercial vehicles within state lines.

The agency is currently running a pilot program to allow 18- to 20-year-old drivers with experience driving trucks in the military to operate commercial vehicles in interstate commerce. FMCSA should wait for the results of that pilot before implementing a broader one for drivers without military experience, IIHS Senior Statistician Eric Teoh wrote in the comment.

In addition, Teoh suggested the agency conduct a study looking at crash risk by age of truck drivers operating within state lines.

If the second pilot program goes forward, FMSCA should require participants to demonstrate substantial experience driving trucks within state boundaries, along with a clean driving record, Teoh wrote.

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