Proper truck driver training is critical when entering the transportation industry, and the commercial driver’s license (CDL) is supposed to set the benchmark for safely operating a big rig. To obtain a CDL, truck drivers must pass skill tests covering everything from road rules to truck inspection. Commercial truck drivers may have to obtain other certifications depending on the type of rig they are operating. Hauling flammable materials or a triple trailer requires extra training, but real-world experience trumps knowledge whenever it comes to safety.
Dangers of inexperienced truck drivers
It only takes a few inexperienced truck drivers to pose serious hazards for other motorists. Truckers who have freshly graduated from training programs don’t have the expertise under their belt to react to dangerous situations and deftly handle 80,000-pound rigs during inclement weather. They are more likely to make careless mistakes, which can have catastrophic repercussions.
When an inexperienced or badly trained commercial truck driver causes an accident and injury, victims have the right to pursue monetary reparations. Given the many legal challenges to such claims, it’s imperative to retain experienced truck accident attorneys who have a long track record of success. At Hobbs Law Group, we focus on achieving the best outcomes for our clients, and our settlement results speak to this dedication.
Shortage of qualified drivers fuels the problem
According to the American Trucking Associations, the industry has struggled with a lack of qualified drivers for the past 15 years. Retiring Baby Boomers, industry growth, and supply chain demands have fueled a massive shortage of credentialed drivers. As of 2018, the industry was short more than 60,000 drivers, and if this trend holds, the dearth could swell to more than 160,000 in the next seven years.
Many trucking companies try to bridge the gap by hiring drivers with limited real-world experience. In other cases, the companies are negligent in their screening practices and end up with new drivers who lack appropriate credentials or a clean motor vehicle record.
Operating Without a CDL
To make matters worse, there are drivers operating tractor-trailers and semi-trucks without the benefit of any certification. In California and other states, truck drivers have been caught operating commercial vehicles without a CDL. Since the penalties are minimal, some trucking companies are taking the risk.
This tactic is particularly egregious, as they are intentionally putting profits over safety. When trucking companies skirt regulations to save money, and this negligence causes injury and suffering, they can be held liable for all resulting damages.
Our semi-truck accident lawyers have a deep understanding of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) regulations and hiring standards. With thorough investigations, your legal counsel can prove if a truck company failed to hire drivers of acceptable competency and credentials or were aware of inadequate training– which contributed to the accident.
Holding negligent companies liable
Insufficient truck driver training may not be the leading cause of tractor-trailer accidents, but it still warrants further attention. FMSCA requires that all trucking companies hire qualified drivers who have specific training for the rig and cargo they are hauling.
According to FMCSA, all CDL drivers with less than one year of experience must provide an Entry-Level Driver Training Certificate. There are also certifications for Skill Performance Evaluation, drivers who work for multiple employers, and drivers who operate Longer Combination Vehicles (LCV).
A lawsuit may be merited if it can be shown that a defendant:
- Knowingly hired a driver without a CDL
- Knowingly allowed drivers to work on a suspended or invalid license
- Falsified certifications or training records
- Did not implement routine drug and alcohol tests
- Negligently hired an unqualified driver
Powerful legal counsel for truck accident cases
Inexperienced and poorly trained truckers are more prone to cause jackknife accidents, rollovers, and rear-end crashes on major highways. If you lost a loved one or were seriously hurt in a crash caused by a tractor-trailer driver, do not hesitate to contact the truck accident lawyers at Hobbs Law Group. Call today to schedule a free, no-obligation to discuss your rights.