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Concerns that law would increase risks of tractor-trailer crash

According to the South Carolina Trucking Association, there is a looming transportation crisis in this country as more truckers are reaching retirement age. In order to advert interruptions in supplies and keep prices from spiraling out of control, the industry is pushing for changes in a law that addresses the age requirements for cross-country driving. Though a proposed law is being touted as a possible remedy, there are concerns that changing the age will result in an increased risk of a tractor-trailer crash.

The Department of Transportation established a regulation that stated drivers under the age of 21 could not operate a tractor-trailer across state lines. This was based on the statistics that showed that younger drivers have an increased risk of being involved in accidents due to inexperience and immaturity. However, a new law was recently proposed that would remove that stipulation and would permit licensed CDL drivers 18 and older to drive cross-country.

The new law, which is called the Drive-Safe Act, would permit those drivers who complete the required training and already possess a commercial vehicle license to operate across state lines instead of only within state boundaries. Many in the industry see this as a way to prevent serious driver shortages over the coming years. It is estimated that the industry will need to replace an estimated one million drivers over the next 10 years. 

There are those in the trucking industry who fear that lowering the age will lead to more safety concerns for fellow motorists. In spite of the training requirements, younger drivers are more likely to be involved in serious accidents, including a tractor-trailer crash. South Carolina travelers who have suffered serious physical injuries from these types of wrecks often experience negative consequences for years afterward -- including the distress caused by the accompanying financial losses. Victims may seek recompense for their damages through the successful filing of a personal injury civil suit.

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