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Truck Accidents Caused by Lack of Truck Driver Training

When it comes to training commercial truck drivers, the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) has strict rules and guidelines. These guidelines cover the type of training and testing holders of commercial driver's licenses are required to have in the United States. They also make it clear that the truck driver’s employer is responsible for ensuring that the truck driver follows all USDOT regulations. Commercial trucks are massive, and the devastation they can cause in an accident is far more severe than in most passenger vehicle accidents.

Inexperienced Truck Drivers are Dangerous

When truck drivers do not have adequate training or have enough experience to operate a commercial vehicle, they are at a much higher risk of causing a serious truck accident. Navigating steep curves, hills, and downgrades require a significant amount of skill. Truck drivers are managing an 80,000-pound vehicle, which is a skill very few people have.

The likelihood of an inexperienced truck driver being involved in a devastating accident is much higher than that of a well-trained, experienced commercial truck driver. Most truck accidents are preventable and those that occur often would not have happened if the truck driver or third-party driver had acted reasonably. Truck accidents can happen when an incident occurs in fast-moving traffic. Inexperienced truck drivers who have not had the required training are less likely to react safely to these types of unexpected scenarios.

Passing the CDL Test Is not Always Enough to Prevent Truck Accidents

To obtain a commercial driver's license, the prospective driver must pass a skills test and a written test administered by a certified commercial driver's license examiner. The truck driver needs to demonstrate that they can handle and control the truck and understand all of the hours of service regulations. They also need to show that they know how to keep accurate maintenance logs, load the cargo safely, understand the basics of diet and exercise, and avoid too much alcohol to drive safely. However, even if the truck driver passes the test, there is no substitute for the experience that is gained after years of practice.

Proving Liability for Inexperienced Truck Drivers

Trucking companies that employ multiple truck drivers have a legal duty to ensure that all their drivers are adequately trained under federal and state law. They also have a legal duty to ensure that newly-hired truck drivers are properly supervised, especially when they are brand new to operating commercial vehicles. When a trucking company hires an employee who causes a truck accident due to lack of adequate training, the victim can hold the driver and the company liable for their injuries. In other words, if the company that employed the truck driver who caused your accident did not provide them with adequate training, you can attempt to recover compensation from the employer and the truck driver.

Injuries Commonly Caused by Truck Driver Inexperience

Anytime a massive commercial vehicle collides with a passenger vehicle that is less than a quarter of the truck’s size, there can be catastrophic injuries. Truck accidents involving commercial vehicles often result in death because the truck crashes, flips, or pulverizes the passenger vehicle. In these types of truck accidents, it is common for gasoline fires to occur, making it difficult for emergency responders to help the injured victims. Additionally, if a truck accident occurs on a freeway, the truck’s size may cause a dangerous multi-vehicle pileup. Some of the severe injuries caused by truck accidents include the following:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Amputations
  • Burn injuries
  • Broken bones
Understand Your Legal Options

For most truck accident victims, there are two main ways to recover compensation. First, they can file a claim through the at-fault driver's insurance policy. They can also file a personal injury lawsuit against the truck driver and/or the employer. Trucking companies have significant resources, and it is important that you work with a lawyer who can protect your interest and negotiate aggressively with the trucking company and/or insurance company.

Contact a Charlotte Truck Accident Lawyer Today

The trucking accident lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, proudly represent Charlotte residents in personal injury cases. We understand how devastating it can be to suffer a catastrophic injury that is not your fault. Contact us today to learn more about how we can fight for your right to compensation.

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