Truck Driver Training and How it Applies to Liability for Truck Crashes

Improper truck driving training may be a contributing factor to some truck crashes. Some employers may not properly train drivers on company, state and federal truck driving regulations, which can contribute to serious accidents. In such cases, victims of these accidents may pursue a lawsuit against the negligent party, or parties, with which a Long Island personal injury attorney may assist.

Required Truck Driving Training

Truck drivers often enroll in a school or training program in order to learn the fundamentals of driving a truck of such a large size. After students graduate from the program, they can pursue a commercial driver’s license (CDL). This involves hands-on and written tests so that evaluators can adequately assess the person’s skills.

Tests vary depending on the class of the CDL:

  • Class A CDL: Allows drivers to operate a combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of over 26,000 pounds or more, provided the gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicle being towed is greater than 10,000 pounds.
  • Class B CDL: Allows the same GCWR, but as long as the vehicle being towed is less than 10,000 pounds.
  • Class C CDL: Allows operation of a vehicle that doesn’t meet the Class A or B definitions but is designed to transport 16 or more passengers or is transporting hazardous material.

If the person passes the tests, he or she can receive a license. Besides having a license, good driving skills and eyesight are essential. The ability to drive for long periods of time is also important.

An employer may also require previous experience as well as special skills and training pertinent to the type of driving that the driver can expect to perform. For example, some trucks contain hazardous materials, so a driver must have certain credentials and submit to extensive fingerprinting and background checks.

What does this have to do with liability?

It is up to the trucking company to ensure that all drivers meet training requirements. The requirements are set by not only the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), but each state as well.

Proper training can affect a truck driver’s decision-making skills, which, according to a FMCSA study released in 2007, was the most common cause of truck crashes during a 33-month period. This includes following other vehicles too closely, speeding and changing lanes or passing other vehicles in unsafe situations. In fact, 23 percent of truck crashes during that period – a total of 32,000 – were attributed to driving too fast.

If the truck driver’s lack of training leads to an accident, there are multiple parties who could be held liable. Not only is the truck driver at fault, but the company that hired him or her could be held responsible, especially if it did not follow the proper steps to ensure that the driver is fully trained. A personal injury attorney can help you determine liability in your case.

Contacting a Long Island Personal Injury Attorney

A tractor-trailer can weigh 80,000 pounds or more. It is very difficult to properly maneuver a vehicle of such an enormous size. Lack of proper truck driving training can lead to truck crashes, which can result in vehicle damage, injuries and even death. This is why the FMCSA has many safety and training requirements in place.

Consult with a Long Island personal injury attorney from Gacovino, Lake & Associates if you’d like to review your case. Call us today at 800-246-4878 for a free consultation. If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries because of a truck driver’s lack of truck driving training, you may be eligible for compensation.

Related Posts