Good driver training is an important part of safe truck driving and reducing the chance of drivers being involved in big rig wrecks. Lawyers who represent parties injured due to truck accidents and safety organizations alike stress that even though there are specific training requirements for drivers to become licensed to drive a large truck, meeting these training requirements alone does not mean that a driver should be considered qualified. A qualified, safe driver is one who invests more than just a few hours of truck driving training before hitting the roads, since continuous safety training is proven to help keep accident numbers down.
What Is Required to Drive a Tractor Trailer?
Very little is actually required to drive a tractor trailer. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA), which governs commercial licensing, a driver is considered “qualified” to drive a big rig after receiving 10 hours of driver training and passing a driving test, a written test, and a health exam. Unfortunately, truck accident lawyers and safety organizations say that while this may prove that a driver can operate the vehicle and is qualified at the moment of licensing, it does not replace the important experience that truck drivers need to help keep them safe. This basic, mandatory training also does not cover much more than the elementary aspects of driving a big rig.
Additional Driver Safety Training Helps
Many drivers, and some commercial companies, choose instead to invest in more extensive driver training to help drivers get much-needed driving experience before they are under the pressure of a real work schedule. Additionally, many commercial carriers take the continued safety training of their drivers very seriously; enough so that they have a proactive safety training plan in place that includes continuous driver safety training.
Through this ongoing training, drivers are made aware of new rules and educated on safety procedures and policy; trucks are inspected and maintained; and companies do their part to reduce the incidence of big rig wrecks by having truly qualified drivers. Unfortunately, while many larger commercial carriers make this investment in their drivers and their company, most smaller companies cannot afford such a program.
Driver Safety Training and Truck Accidents
Although there is no specific study data proving that continuous driver training reduces big rig wrecks, on a broader scale, safety education and emphasizing that employees are properly qualified for their jobs is definitely known to prevent accidents. With this in mind, many trucking companies understand how continued driver education and safety training can keep themselves and all other drivers on the roads safer overall. Companies that make safety a priority and ensure their drivers are well qualified and compliant tend to have more conscientious, alert drivers and run a lower risk of safety violations that could contribute to accidents.
Truck accident lawyers and safety organizations recommend ongoing safety training for drivers as well as careful monitoring of driver safety. Many feel that the basic qualifications to become a driver of a large commercial truck should be viewed only as a starting point. In order to prevent big rig wrecks, commercial drivers should undergo continuous safety training. This, Along with an enforced company safety policy, this all equates to safer truck drivers and safer highways!
Pearland, Pasadena, Webster, League City, Webster, Manvel, Alvin, Friendswood, La Marque, Texas City, and Galveston
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (281) 408-2190