What Can Be Done to Ensure That the Truck Drivers Are Properly Trained and Suited for the Job?

Cleaning Diesel Engine Filters Truck Drivers

In the wrong hands, an 80,000lb eighteen-wheeler truck becomes a fatal accident waiting to happen. Contrary to public perception, the most common cause of truck accidents is human error, be it from drivers falling asleep at the wheel, a momentary lapse of concentration, a poorly-maintained truck, or improper loading practices. Every year, human negligence causes 5,000 deaths in truck accidents across the US.

Therefore, the best way to reduce truck accidents and the life-altering injuries they bring is by ensuring truck drivers receive adequate training before they get behind the wheel. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, it is essential you find a semi truck accident lawyer to protect your legal rights.

Longer Training Periods

A national shortage of truck drivers has put trucking companies under intense pressure to find new drivers and get them onto the road as quickly as possible. A recent survey found that the US has a shortage of around 50,000 truck drivers. This shortage has caused logistics companies to rush to train new drivers.

Short training periods have left many drivers underprepared for the rigours of the job. It has put underexperienced drivers on our nation’s roads, at great risk to other road users. Longer training periods would be beneficial in improving the safety of the trucking industry and reducing the frequency of truck accidents across the US.

Classroom Training

Under federal law, a truck driver must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to ensure the driver has the appropriate knowledge to the driver a commercial vehicle. However, the CDL is far from comprehensive. Many drivers opt to take additional education courses before they take on a job as a truck driver.

Part of the issue with these courses is that many are predominantly classroom-based. While this is useful to an extent, for learning a practical skill like handling and managing a large truck, classroom-based learning can only go so far. Further training that offers the opportunity for instructors to accompany candidates on truck journeys would help improve the quality of truck driver education programs.

Basic Mechanical Maintenance Training

Most commercial vehicle courses offer little training on vehicle maintenance and focus on the practicality and theory of driving. But a poorly-maintained vehicle poses a significant hazard to other road users and mechanical failure can cause a devastating accident.

To safely manage a large commercial vehicle, a basic understanding of the mechanics of the vehicle is essential.  

The victims of truck accidents and their loved ones often choose to pursue accident claims against the truck companies who employ drivers that have caused a truck accident. The legal reasoning behind it is that it is the trucking firm’s responsibility to ensure all their drivers receive adequate training before they are allowed out on the roads and must take measures to mitigate the chances of one of their drivers becoming involved in an accident.

Many of these cases are successful given the breakneck speed which many companies push drivers through training and get them out on the roads in an attempt to boost their revenues.