Truck Accidents and Lack of Driver Training
It’s been estimated that 75 percent of all freight in the United States is moved over highways. That freight is most often carried by tractor trailers. While essential for companies to do business, the constant presence of tractor trailers means an increased risk of truck accidents. Victims of truck accidents can turn to the Sugar Land, TX injury lawyers Travis B. Terry and Jackson R. Reed.
Many truck accidents are caused by negligence on the part of the driver. As it turns out, that negligence on the truck driver’s part may be the result of a lack of experience behind the wheel. The legal team at Reed & Terry, LLP would like to explore the issue of inexperienced drivers in commercial trucking and why this leads to accidents.
Is a Lack of Training a Problem in Commercial Trucking?
You may not realize it, but there’s been a shortage of drivers in the commercial trucking industry. Companies are struggling to find qualified drivers to long-haul routes. According to a report in July 2018, the American Trucking Associations estimated that 50,000 long-haul truckers were needed to meet the demands of companies.
Given the labor shortage in commercial trucking, companies desperate for truck drivers may hire people who do not have the right amount of experience for the job. This can have disastrous results.
The Dangers of Untrained Truck Drivers
Driving a tractor trailer requires different skills than driving a pickup or an SUV. Familiarity with a vehicle on the highway, the laws regarding hours of service, and the nature of long hauls is crucial for safety. When a driver does not have sufficient training behind the wheel, that driver puts themselves and others on the road at risk.
Lack of Familiarity with a Vehicle
Commercial licensing for truck drivers may be issued in just a week or a few weeks, which is not enough time to really become familiar with a large truck and what it’s like to operate such a vehicle. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) estimates that 6.5 percent of all truck crashes are the result of a lack of familiarity with the vehicle. That means driving the vehicle fewer than six times in the last six months.
Lack of Familiarity with the Road
Operating a large truck is just one challenge. The route itself may present a number of difficulties that only an experienced driver would be familiar with. The FMCSA estimated that a lack of familiarity with the route or roadway leads to roughly 21.6 large truck accidents each year.
Inexperience Could Mean Reckless Driving
An inexperienced truck driver may be more willing to take risks than an experienced truck driver. This could mean speeding, which the FMCSA estimates causes 22.9 percent of truck crashes.
General inexperiences could also mean not knowing your own limits and pushing yourself to a point of exhaustion. An experienced driver would know when to rest. Driver fatigue among truck drivers contribute to around 13 percent of crashes.
Companies Failing to Use Their Best Judgment
Given the need for truck drivers, companies may not use their best judgement and simply hire any commercially licensed driver available. This may occur even if the driver is new to trucking, or has a poor driving record.
When companies fail to use their best judgement, it’s important that they be held accountable for their actions.
Contact Reed & Terry, LLP
For more information about your legal rights and options following an auto collision, be sure to contact an experienced auto accident lawyer. Our law firm is here to help. You can reach our offices in Sugar Land, Richmond, and Katy by phone at (281) 201-0988.