Michigan, in conjunction with The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), has strict rules and regulations regarding Commercial Driver Licenses (CDLs). Truck drivers must have a special driver’s license to operate a commercial vehicle.
Large trucks, including semi trucks, big rigs tractor trailers, and 18-wheelers, are extremely difficult to operate compared to a passenger vehicle. You can’t just “hop in an 18-wheeler” and drive off the sales lot the way you can with a passenger vehicle. For that reason, state and federal governmental agencies have set strict regulations and laws to ensure truck drivers receive adequate training before operating a commercial vehicle. These regulations and laws are in place to protect the public because of the real threat and danger posed by large truck accidents to other drivers and passengers.
Unfortunately, not all truck companies follow the rules and regulations regarding truck driver training. When a large truck accident involves an inadequately trained or improperly trained driver, the truck company may be held liable for damages. Call the Okemos truck accident attorneys of The Clark Law Office at 517-347-6900 for a free consultation and case evaluation.
Inadequate Driver Training Is a Factor in Many Truck Accidents
Commercial and other large trucks pose a real threat because of their weight and size. Companies that employ truck drivers are required to train those drivers according to the truck driving Code of Federal Regulations. In addition to conducting regular drug testing, obtaining background checks, and ensuring physical and mental fitness, a truck company must also provide ongoing training for its truck drivers. Switching gears, braking, parking, switching lanes, and maintaining a proper speed are some of the tasks that pose a potentially disastrous challenge for improperly trained truck drivers.
In addition to the requirements for obtaining a Commercial Driver License, training for truck drivers should include:
Training regarding the inspection and maintenance of the vehicle
Instruction on the truck’s braking and acceleration systems
Education regarding alcohol and drug abuse
Information on maintaining good health and receiving adequate rest and sleep, including specific training on laws and regulations regarding log books and hours of service limits
Specialized training for drivers who operate oversized trucks or who transport hazardous materials
Again, these large trucks don’t handle the same way as a passenger vehicle. A truck driver who doesn’t understand how to handle a commercial vehicle has a potentially deadly weapon in his or her hands. Occupants of other vehicles sustain the clear majority of deaths and injuries in large truck accidents. When a truck accident occurs because of a driver’s lack of training, someone must be held liable for the damages resulting from that accident. In most cases, it is the trucking company that failed to provide adequate training and supervision.
Why Do Trucking Companies Fail to Provide Ongoing Training?
As we already know from dealing with trucking companies, their primary concern is cutting costs to earn a larger profit. The desire to increase profits is why truck companies push drivers to meet unrealistic deadlines. Some truck companies forgo regular inspections and maintenance to cut costs.
Profit is also a reason why some truck companies don’t provide training to their drivers. Proper training and supervision cost money. Hiring experienced, and highly-trained drivers with exceptional driving records and training certifications cost more money than hiring inexperienced truck drivers.
Training is a part of most jobs. Most employers understand the need for training and incorporate this overhead expense into their budgets. Commercial trucks are heavier and larger than the vehicles they share the road with each day. Therefore, proper training is crucial to the safety of the driver and all others who use our roads. Disregarding the dangers is careless and negligent. Profit is NOT a sufficient reason to forgo training or hire inexperienced drivers.
Inadequate driver training substantially increases the risk of a truck accident. Inexperienced drivers simply don’t have the knowledge and training to avoid situations that could lead to a collision. An untrained driver is not prepared to handle situations involving heavy traffic, inclement weather, or mechanical failure. If you are injured in a large truck accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. However, you must prove the truck driver and/or the trucking company had a duty of care, breached the duty of care, and the breach of duty resulted in your injuries.
When a truck driver gets behind the wheel of a big rig without sufficient training, that driver violates his duty of care to act as a reasonable person in a similar situation. A trucking company that allows an inexperienced driver to operate a vehicle also breaches its duty of care, in addition to potentially breaking one or more laws. To prevail in a truck accident claim for inadequate training, you must prove that the lack of training was a factor in the accident that led to your injuries.
Our Lansing truck accident attorneys have experience investigating truck accidents due to inadequate driving training. Our team reviews trucking company records and driver records to determine whether inadequate training played a role in the collision. Because the evidence in a truck accident case can be lost or destroyed, it is important to contact our office as soon as possible so we can begin the process of identifying and preserving key evidence to prove fault in your case.
Aggressive Lansing Truck Accident Lawyers Protecting You from Reckless Semi Truck Drivers and Negligent Trucking Companies
The Clark Law Office works with clients to hold truck drivers and trucking companies accountable for damages caused by a large truck accident. Our team of legal professionals works diligently for clients who have been injured in accidents caused by inadequate truck driver training.
Call our office at 517-347-6900 to schedule a free legal consultation to discuss filing a Michigan truck accident claim to recover compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, pain, suffering, and other damages. We have offices in Okemos and Lansing for your convenience.