Pushing off plans to institute universal trading standards for entry level drivers until 2022, the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) is being criticized for continuing to put undertrained truck drivers on the road – a risk to all motorists.
Many motorists that share highways clogged with truckers may be surprised to know that, currently, there are limited federal requirements for obtaining a commercial driver’s license (CDL). In fact, as it stands, there is no federal oversight of the process or universal standards for the information and training a driver must receive in order to operate one of the many big rigs seen on the road.
Other than being required to show proof of citizenship or permanent residency, the minimum requirements to get a CDL is being 18 (21 to drive interstate) and having a driver’s license with two years of driver experience. After that it is just a matter of self-certifying health requirements, passing a background check, and passing knowledge and skill tests for the vehicle they want to drive. Required training is left up to schools and can run the gamut from just enough to pass an exam to more thorough training that many assume truck drivers receive. The lack of oversight and standardization makes driving alongside truckers a game of Russian roulette of sorts – they may or may not have adequate training to safely navigate the road.
In contrast, when the new rules do take effect, training programs will be more streamlined so that entry level drivers across the country are subject to standardized curriculum to include basic vehicle operation from control systems and dashboard instruments to lessons on how to drive. Pre and post trip inspections, backing and docking, roadside inspections will be covered as will the dangers of distracted driving and whistle blower protections and procedures.
Training benchmarks for new drivers has been in the works for a long time – decades in fact – with the knowledge that poorly trained, inexperienced truckers are more likely to cause wrecks. According to a US Department of Transportation report, drivers with less than five years under their belt are 41% more like to cause a crash, underscoring just how important it is to get the training right.
Contact Quad Cities Truck Accident Injury Lawyers For Help
If you or a family member has been injured in a motor vehicle accident involving a commercial truck, it is important to seek the help of an experienced truck accident injury lawyer to secure compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and even punitive damages in cases of driver negligence. Contact the Quad Cities Iowa truck driver accident lawyers of McDonald, Woodward & Carlson PC for immediate assistance today at 563-355-6478.