Middleton, WI- By 2026, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) estimates there will be a shortage of approximately 170,000 truck drivers. That deficit of drivers will have an adverse impact on the commercial trucking industry and could drive up consumer prices. To avoid the impending shortage of truckers and its many drawbacks, a Congresswoman recently introduced a bill that would allow truck drivers in the 18-21 age group to cross state lines.
The WHEEL Act Address Truck Driver Shortage
Representative Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.) recently introduced the WHEEL Act, a bill that she believes will address a future truck driver shortage by expanding a program now reserved to former U.S. military personnel with truck driving experience.
The Waiving Hindrances to Economic Enterprise and Labor Act, or the WHEEL Act, would amend the FAST Act passed in 2016, and allow non-military personnel to participate in the pilot program. Currently, underage truckers cannot cross state lines; they are limited to intrastate travel only.
Only military members under 21-years-old are allowed to participate in the pilot, but Rep. Tenney’s law would expand the pilot to include all underage truckers of they have a commercial driver’s license, have a clean driving record and undergo DOT training certification.
The purpose of the pilot program is to compare the driving skills of underage drivers with the abilities of older drivers and to determine if younger truck drivers pose a safety risk on the nation’s highways.
American Trucking Associations (ATA) President Chris Spear sent a letter of support for the WHEEL Act, stating that it would help the trucking industry attract new recruits, the Commercial Carrier-Journal reports. Spear said expanding the program “is a critical step towards addressing the trucking industry’s growing driver shortage.”
The WHEEL Act has several sponsors in the House and has moved to committee.
Not all drivers in the 18-21 age group are risky drivers, but according to the Department of Transportation’s 2013 Fatality Analysis Reporting System, drivers in the 18-21 age group had a fatal accident involvement rate 66 percent higher than drivers 21 and over.
Hit by an Inexperienced Trucker? Speak to a Commercial Trucking Accident
If an inexperienced truck driver hurts you or a loved one in a Wisconsin truck wreck, USAttorneys.com recommends you speak with a lawyer. We have an experienced team of commercial trucking accident lawyers near you who will examine the details of your accident and give you an honest assessment of your claim. During your free initial consultation, you will learn if you are entitled to compensation and what steps you must take for your case to be a success.
Truck accident victims in Middleton, Wisconsin should contact the Law Firm of Fuhrman & Dodge, S.C. to arrange a case evaluation. You can reach their office by calling 608-327-4200. They have a skilled team of truck accident lawyers to assist with your personal injury or wrongful death claim. Call an arrange a consultation now.