In October, 2016, CBS News reported the results of research into truck accidents involving older truckers. More CDL drivers 65-years-of-age and older have been pressed into service to meet the ongoing truck driver shortage. At present, there are no skill tests or other special requirements that retirement-age drivers must pass to operate big rigs. However, the number of accidents involving older CDL drivers is increasing.
Increase in Accidents
Crash data analyzed for the article revealed a 19 percent increase in accidents involving CDL drivers ages 70 and older in the three-year period from 2013 to 2015.
For its story, CBS reviewed details of a crash involving a family en route from Oklahoma City to St. Louis in 2009 to see a relative become an elder at his church. The family was on interstate 44 when traffic slowed, and a semi tractor-trailer operated by a 76-year-old man rolled on top of three vehicles. Ten individuals died, including four members of a single family. In a similar incident on August 25, 2016, a 74-year-old trucker hauling stones failed to slow down in a construction zone near Binghamton, New York. Ten individuals suffered injuries in the ensuing multi-vehicle wreck.
Truckers 70-and-older in California
In California, truck accidents involving CDL drivers ages 70 and older have significantly increased. Truckers ages 70 and older accounted for 61 truck accidents in the state in 2013 and 81 in 2015, an increase of approximately 25 percent in a two-year period. Among truckers in their 80s, five were in truck accidents in 2013, eight and 2014 and 12 in 2015.
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