All truckers must go through certain requirements in order to drive the semis and big rigs that we see on the road every day. Many would probably assume that drivers must go through extensive training and meet heavy requirements to operate vehicles of such massive size. However, these may not be enough to prevent many truck accidents that are caused by driver error.
Truck Driver Requirements
Before becoming a truck driver, individuals must go through processes and meet certain requirements:
1. Obtain a CDL
Potential truck drivers must obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) from their state of residence. This step by itself has many parts to it and each state has different requirements. To start the process of obtaining a CDL, one must first:
Have a non-commercial driver’s license
Obtain a Commercial Driver’s permit
Undergo a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical exam
Pass age requirements (18 to drive intrastate and 21 to drive interstate)
2. Attend a Truck Driving School
It is required for all potential drivers to attend an accredited CDL driver training program, typically at a truck driving school.
3. Have a Clean Driving Record
In almost all cases, those who are applying to drive a truck must have a clean driving record.
4. Pass a Drug and Alcohol Test
When getting a CDL, individuals must pass a drug and alcohol test, indicating that they do not use substances that may impair their driving.
Driver Error and Trucking Accidents
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there were 4,102 people killed in large truck collisions in 2017, an increase from 3,986 truck crash-related fatalities in 2016. The institute also reports that the number of people killed in trucking accidents in 2017 was 30% higher than the number in 2009.
With this in mind, trucking requirements still may not be enough to prevent fatal truck accidents from becoming a growing trend over the past few years. This is also considering data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which shows that driver error is still, by far, one of the top causes of trucking accidents.
If you or a loved one is injured due to a truck driver’s error, we will review key details of your case to determine negligent parties and fight for your financial recovery.
Contact Shevlin Smith at (703) 721-4233 to schedule a free consultation with one of our truck accident attorneys.