In an effort to repair a damaged supply chain, the federal government is changing the minimum age for driving a big rig from 21 to 18. It's a test for now, but if the kid truckers don't get into too many wrecks, they'll make it permanent.
The American Trucking Associations, a large industry trade group, supports the measure as a way to help with a shortage of drivers. The group estimates that the nation is running over 80,000 drivers short of the number it needs, as demand to move freight reaches historic highs.
But safety advocates say the program runs counter to data showing that younger drivers get in more crashes than older ones. They say it's unwise to let teenage drivers be responsible for rigs that can weigh 80,000 pounds and cause catastrophic damage when they hit lighter vehicles.