A Commercial Driver’s License is required to drive a semi or certain other large trucks in most jurisdictions. For long-haul trucking, attendance at a trucking school is usually an introduction to the profession. These schools are designed to ensure that truckers receive the necessary training to be safe before they start piloting vehicles that weigh in excess of three tons.
Unfortunately, not all trucking schools are created equal. Some of these schools take their responsibilities very seriously, creating intensive courses with experienced instructors. Others provide only the minimum necessary training to fill bare-bones requirements.
In addition to state requirements, the Department of Transportation sets certain requirements for long haul truckers at the national level. These include being at least 21 years of age and passing a physical, as well as passing written examinations. The potential driver must have normal blood pressure and good vision and hearing (corrective lenses are allowed).
With these regulations in place, one might assume that truckers would obtain sufficient training before they hit the road. Most companies require their employees to train with experienced drivers, but even the experienced drivers might not have sufficient training, to begin with, creating a cycle of unsafe drivers. Even if the mentor is a safe driver with proper training, these apprenticeships are usually fairly time-limited, lasting only a few runs due to cost-effectiveness.
Certain companies take safety more seriously than others, with higher requirements for drivers, including an age requirement of 25 or a certain number of years driving smaller trucks commercially. Unfortunately, many other companies are more interested in getting truckers on the road than making sure those drivers are safe.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, determining whether or not the driver was properly and sufficiently trained is important. Access to this information can be difficult. Please consult with an experienced attorney to ensure a proper investigation takes place.