A Tool for Selecting Safe Younger Drivers: ATRI

The Trucking Network Inc

Little boy playing with a steering wheel in a car

The trucking industry is closer to obtaining an assessment tool for determining safe-related risks for young drivers.  The American Transportation Research Institute, ATRI, has announced that their assessment tool for young drivers has been tested and shows promise for being able to statistically determine the safest drivers amongst groups of 18-20 year-old drivers.

In the effort to provide the American trucking industry with greater access to truck drivers, there is a push to lower the interstate trucking age from 21.  As a result, accurate information is needed to evaluate the safety risk posed by younger drivers and ARTI’s tool may be just such a mechanism.

In the USA, commercial drivers must be 21 years of age or older to drive in interstate operations.  Some states have lower age limits, but such rules only apply within the state.  As a result, long-haul operators require older individuals to fill their seats.  But with increasing driver shortages, there is pressure to examine the 21 years of age rule for possible leniency.

The 21 years of age rule is not a Canadian rule, but insurance companies in Canada make it difficult to hire younger and inexperienced drivers without paying extremely high premiums.  If the USA is able to safely bring younger drivers onto the roads, similar insurance issues could come up as well.  What remains to be seen is if tools like the one ATRI is developing are robust enough to convince insurance carriers to insure young commercial drivers at reasonable rates.