Trucking companies may have noticed recently that the age of drivers applying for jobs seems to be significantly higher than it once was. Many of these older drivers are individuals looking to supplement their pension, or people who enjoy driving and, now that they no longer have kids at home, feel the timing is right to hit the road and earn some money.
The great thing about these older truck drivers is that they’re generally reliable and hard working. Most are experienced and have exemplary driving records. However, there is also concern that older truck drivers pose a greater risk while handling loaded rigs.
Is There Maximum Age for Truck Drivers Getting Their CDL Licenses?
The topic of senior citizens and driving isn’t a new issue. It’s been hotly debated for several decades, and no one has come up with a good solution. As the law currently stands, there isn’t an age when a person is no longer allowed to drive. The same is true for truck drivers who wish to have a CDL license. The Department of Transportation feels that as long as the driver has the skills and mental agility needed to pass the commercial driving license test, there isn’t a reason to assume that he can’t handle life as a truck driver. It doesn’t matter if the drivers are twenty-two or ninety-two: if they pass the CDL test, the law states that they’re legally allowed to drive a semi. But does that mean they should?
Challenges Older Truck Drivers Face
While there are some perks connected to hiring an older truck driver, there are also some serious potential consequences to consider. One study has shown that the advanced age of drivers makes the driver less able to handle some of the challenges they face while driving. Things like slower reaction time and potentially decreased cognitive function can increase the likelihood of the truck driver causing an accident.
Driving a semi-truck requires a great deal more physical agility than a regular car. At any given moment, the truck driver must be able to shift gears, steer, use the turn signals, and maneuver the big, cumbersome rig through some tight spaces. Many senior truck drivers don’t realize that they’re no longer physically able to handle the demands of driving the large semi-trucks until they’ve lost control of the rig and gotten into an accident. The fact that the job requires sitting for several hours at a time, something the exasperates joint stiffness and muscle pain, makes it even harder for the driver to handle the vehicle. Perhaps most concerning is the increased likelihood of an older driver in poor health suffering a stroke or heart attack while they’re in the middle of a long-distance haul.
Contact Meldon Law Today!
Have you been injured in an accident with a commercial truck? If so, please contact Meldon Law online as quickly as possible. At Meldon Law we understand how significant an impact a single vehicle accident can have on your physical, emotional, and financial health. We want to do everything in our power to help you return to normal. Call our office at (352) 373-8000 to learn more about our services or to schedule a free consultation.