Truck Driver Training and Its Effect on Safety
Large trucks and trucking accidents present a significant amount of danger to other drivers on the road, and as a result the government imposes numerous extra licensing and safety requirements on truck drivers. However, there is not much standardization in the training new drivers receive, and the federal government has yet to introduce a law to make it more uniform. This lack of uniform training may mean that some truck drivers on the road are not as well-prepared or as safe as they should be. In order to determine whether such a rule would be beneficial, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is working on a new study to determine whether a standardized form of training would be beneficial from a safety perspective. Additionally, there are a variety of independent proposals for changes to truck driver training that may make the roads safer.
New Government Research
The new study is a three-year project that will culminate in December of 2015. The FMCSA is collecting data on freight drivers who received their commercial driver’s licenses within the past three years. This survey will be used to create a database of the type of training that these drivers received before getting behind the wheel. The FMCSA will examine whether there is a link between formal training programs and a decrease in crash rates for those drivers.
The study follows on the heels of another FMCSA study that examined the effectiveness of four different types of training for freight drivers: ordinary commercial training, simulator-based training, informal training with friends or family members, and condensed training focused on the licensing test. The study found that there was no difference in safety between ordinary training and simulator-based training, but that both were safer than the other two types of training. The study also found that informal training with friends or family was still better than training that was merely focused on getting the driver to the point of passing their licensure exam.
Potential Ways to Improve Safety
There are also a variety of different proposals available for how trucking training courses might improve the safety performance of their students. Some of the proposals are obvious, such as increasing the overall amount of training time, but others are more complex. For instance, some people have suggested instituting continuing training throughout the course of a driver’s career. This could be accomplished either through regulations requiring some amount of continuing training or by creating incentives for engaging in further training.
Another proposal is to offer training with a more holistic approach to safety. Most courses have safety training focused on things like collision avoidance, but there are other aspects to safety, such as truck maintenance. For instance, training programs could increase the amount of time they spend teaching drivers about truck maintenance to decrease the number of maintenance-related crashes.
Truck accidents can cause severe, life-changing injuries. If you have recently been involved in an accident with a truck, contact a Wheaton truck accident attorney at Woodruff Johnson & Evans today to fight for the full and fair compensation that you deserve.