The risk of a tractor-trailer crash caused by truck driver fatigue or by a distracted truck driver is already a threat to the safety of motorists who travel throughout Connecticut. Congress is preparing to consider making changes to driver work schedules, reducing the minimum age for truck drivers and permitting larger trucks carrying heavier loads to use the nation’s highways.
The proposals are part of a campaign to reduce highway congestion by increasing the loads that any single vehicle could carry. Highway safety advocates argue that bigger trucks are harder to handle and control and could lead to increased truck driver fatigue.
Also being considered by Congress is a lowering of the minimum age for licensing as a truck driver from 21 years of age to 18. This proposal targets the increasing shortage of qualified truck drivers. Coupled with the reduction in the minimum age for drivers is a truck company request to increase the number of hours that drivers are permitted to work each day.
Both suggestions have drawn fire from advocacy groups concerned that younger drivers working longer hours will cause trucking accident statistics to soar. When combined with the increased size and weight of the vehicles that motorists could encounter on the road, the risk of serious injury in a tractor-trailer crash could be even worse than at the present time.
Victims of negligent truck drivers may be entitled to receive compensation if they are injured in a semi truck crash. Medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering may be recoverable by an accident victim, but the best source of information about a victim’s rights would be a New Haven personal injury attorney.
Source: The Hill, “Trucking fights rev up as House preps highway bill,” Keith Laing, Oct 30, 2015