Inadequately Trained Truck Drivers

Your Fort Worth Truck Accident Lawyers

Like learning to drive a car, learning to drive a truck safely takes extensive training and experience. Often, trucking companies fail to adequately prepare drivers, and as a result, many new drivers may not be ready to confidently and safely navigate the road. It is crucial that drivers receive appropriate and thorough training before beginning their job, as commercial trucks require more care and driving skill than smaller vehicles.

Trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds and be as long as 73 feet in length. Due to their enormous size and weight, these vehicles require special training and licensing to operate. When drivers don’t receive more than the minimum allowable training, they may still lack the necessary experience to handle a large truck safely on the road.

Inadequate Driver Training and Truck Accidents

Drivers require training to work, but often they are rushed through their training by trucking companies. When a driver is in training, the company is paying for their time as well as for their training expenses. Because the company is spending money, rather than making it, when drivers are in training, the company may push drivers to complete training more quickly, cut corners with training, or otherwise put inexperienced drivers on the road before they are ready.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates trucking laws and tracks accident data involving trucks. In a study performed by the FMCA, it was found that approximately 6.5% of accidents involving a truck also involved drivers who had driven their vehicle less than 6 times in the past 6 months. These drivers were unfamiliar with their vehicles, and as a result, caused an accident. The study also noted many accidents were caused by behaviors that indicated a lack of training, such as following too closely, driving faster than safe for road conditions, and driving aggressively.

It is important for drivers to have adequate training time and practice behind the wheel before they are taking loads on the road. Commercial trucks can take up to 120 yards to come to a complete stop when loaded and traveling at 55 miles per hour—more than twice the 55 yards it takes a car to stop. Drivers need to allow more space between their vehicle and the one in front of them, as well as watch for hazards that are much further out. Quality training and adequate practice can reduce accidents caused by inexperienced drivers.

What Training are Drivers Given?

For a driver to complete their training and test for a commercial driver’s license (CDL), they must learn and demonstrate certain skills. Trucking companies will conduct some training when new drivers start, as well as conduct background checks, drug tests, and physical and mental fitness checks. The training may not be adequate, however, and drivers can begin work while they are still learning to handle their truck.

All drivers should be trained on:

  • The operation of their truck, such as changing lanes, changing gears, backing, parking, braking, and maintaining proper speed
  • Inspecting and maintaining their vehicle
  • The dangers of alcohol and drug use while driving
  • Safely handling emergencies such as blowouts and brake failure
  • The importance of good physical and mental health and receiving adequate rest
  • Specific laws and regulations for trucking, including hours of service, logs, and other factors
  • Specialized training for hazardous or oversized loads

Contact the Law Office of James M. Stanley for Help

Trucking companies have a responsibility to ensure all of their drivers are appropriately trained to perform their job. If you or a loved one is injured in an accident with an inexperienced or poorly trained truck driver, the company could be liable for your accident. It is critical that you contact a truck accident attorney quickly, as claims involving trucking companies often are complicated and fast-moving. Your lawyer will be able to protect your right to compensation.

At the Law Office of James M. Stanley, we believe in a personal connection with all our clients. Our team works tirelessly to investigate your accident and keep you up-to-date on your case, so you can trust that you made the right choice for representation. Our clients are important to us, so we seek to understand your needs for your case and develop a strategy that will meet them. We have the experience and drive to fight for you and your rights.

Contact our Forth Worth truck accident attorneys today to schedule a free case evaluation.

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