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Are older truck drivers posing a hazard on the roads?

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2019 | truck accidents

You and other Illinois residents may be concerned about the potential dangers involving older drivers. While responsible drivers may have the right to drive, regardless of age, it is also true that aging can cause numerous conditions that make it less safe to be behind the wheel. This can be especially true when the older driver works for a commercial trucking company.

Despite the apparent dangers from elderly drivers, trucking companies are increasingly hiring drivers who have retired from their previous jobs, reports CBS News. Truckers over the age of 65 make up approximately 10% of the commercial vehicle workforce throughout the United States. Some truck drivers, in fact, are well into their 80s and 90s. Why is this so, you may wonder? As reported in previous posts, there is an ongoing shortage of commercial truck drivers in the country, which has been making trucking companies resort to recruiting an older workforce.

Safety experts warn that age can negatively affect a driver’s stamina and reaction time, as you may know. The repercussions can be tragic, as in the case of a 76-year-old trucker who rolled his semi on top of three vehicles, killing 10 people. However, since it is against the law to discriminate job applicants based on age, it can be difficult to enforce skills tests and safety screening methods for older drivers.

There may be no easy solution to addressing the truck driver shortage or ensuring that older truckers are safe behind the wheel. Since this topic is complex, this information is meant to educate you but should not replace the advice of a lawyer.