Road Safe America has been waiting patiently for three years for the federal government to act on Docket # FMCSA-2007-27748, which would require minimum standards for anyone in the U.S. wanting a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
It would be reassuring to know, when we see a big rig traveling down the highway, that a professionally trained driver is behind the wheel. Unfortunately, it is not always the case. Currently the U.S. Department of Transportation has not mandated any minimum standards concerning truck driver training.
Acceptable training choices for most drivers are either through the carrier they choose to work for or through a private truck driver training school, which are available in most states. But here lies the problem; in almost every state, to get a CDL requires just 2 steps. Step one is to pass a written test on the trucking industry and the complex rules regarding trucks. Step two is to pass a driving test usually consisting of on-the-road driving, a parking lot skills test and a visual inspection exercise.
There are no minimum standards of behind-the-wheel training or classroom time. It is entirely possible for someone to study the training manuals, have a friend teach them about the driving portion of the test and pass the CDL test. Would you go to a doctor who only passed tests in medical school and never interacted with real patients? But sadly the government allows improperly trained drivers operate 80,000 pound trucks, which can have deadly consequences.
The federal government needs to stop dragging its feet on Docket # FMCSA-2007-27748, which would require mandatory training for new operators of commercial motor vehicles.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 380,000 large truck crashes in 2008. Over 90,000 people sustained injuries and 4,229 were killed. In Tennessee, 6.7% of vehicles involved in fatal crashes are large trucks.
If you or a loved one is injured or killed in a trucking accident in Tennessee, contact Hartsoe Law Firm, P.C. for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights with our Knoxville injury lawyers and Maryville accident attorneys. Call (877) 472-5657.