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Truck Accidents as a Result of Truck Driver Training

Washington, DC Truck Accident Attorneys

Overall, truck drivers are some of the best drivers on the road. This is due, in part, to their extensive training and driving experience. All commercial drivers must go through rigorous training just to obtain their basic commercial driver's license (CDL). After that, many drivers have even more, specialized training which allows them to drive certain types and sizes of vehicles and haul certain types of cargo. Trucking companies are required to hire properly trained drivers and match qualified drivers to the vehicles they have the training to operate. Unfortunately, many trucking companies do not obey the law and put under-trained drivers behind the wheels of dangerous big rigs.

Training & Inexperienced Drivers

Operating a semi-tractor trailer truck is complicated. It requires knowledge and practice. Training is not limited to driving, but also to important areas such as proper loading, inspection, and trouble shooting. Drivers must learn the following skills:

  • Control and maneuver their vehicles
  • Avoid accidents
  • Recognize and respond to hazards
  • Balance their loads
  • Secure their loads
  • Park properly
  • Couple and uncouple their vehicles
  • Inspect their vehicles
  • Interact with traffic

These are just some of the skills which must be learned before earning a basic CDL.

Advanced Training

A basic CDL does not mean that a driver can drive any and every type of commercial vehicle. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires further licensing, called endorsements, for commercial drivers who:

  • Drive trucks with double or triple trailers
  • Drive tanker trucks
  • Haul hazardous materials

To obtain these special endorsements, drivers must undergo further training and pass rigorous written and driving tests.

Company Responsibility

Trucking companies have a legal responsibility to hire drivers with a valid CDL and to only use drivers in the capacity for which they are trained and licensed. Their drivers must pass a road test in the type of vehicle which they will be operating. Trucking companies are required to keep extensive records regarding the training and licensing their drivers hold.

At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., we have the experience to investigate your accident and determine if inadequate driver training may have been a contributing factor. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a truck accident, please call our skilled Washington, DC truck accident lawyers. Contact us today to request a free case consultation.

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