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Defensive Driver Training to Prevent Trucking Accidents

Casey Woodruff

What can we do to better prevent trucking accidents? One significant aspect of trucking safety is truck driver training. The U.S. Department of Transportation requires truckers to complete safety training, and the National Safety Council (NSC) emphasizes that these training sessions—and improving them—can help to keep truck drivers as well as other automobile passengers safe on the highway.  Proper truck driver training, according to the NSC website, helps drivers to learn more about “avoiding collisions, injuries, and violations.”

In large part, professional truck driver training teaches truckers about defensive driving and to remain alert on the highways at all times.  To better understand how professional truck driver training can help to keep our roads safer, we should take a more in-depth look at the NSC’s guidelines for defensive driving techniques. In the meantime, if you or a loved one suffered a serious or fatal injury in a trucking accident, you deserve to seek compensation and should contact an experienced Naperville trucking accident attorney as soon as possible.

Safer Highways with Defensive Driving Techniques

According to a fact sheet from the NSC, providing defensive driving techniques, in addition to other important aspects of 18-wheeler driving, can help truckers to avoid deadly accidents. The NSC emphasizes that defensive driving training can help to do the following:

  • Limit financial liability costs when work-related accidents occur;
  • Limit insurance premiums and costs to repair 18-wheeler fleets;
  • Lower the rate of motor vehicle accidents;
  • Lower the number of truck drivers’ workers’ compensation claims; and
  • Improve employee productivity by keeping drivers on the road.

In other words, defensive driving can help to keep truckers and other drivers safe. But what is defensive driving, exactly? According to an article from DMV.org, defensive driving courses teach a number of crash-prevention techniques, including but not limited to:

  • Learning about proper following distances;
  • Learning to scan the roadways;
  • Practicing techniques for sharing the highway with other vehicles;
  • Learning more about proper procedures for passing smaller vehicles;
  • Weather-related speed adjustments; and
  • Learning more about the specific braking distance of your vehicle.

Exemptions to Truck Driver Training Regulations

While safety experts such as those with the NSC tend to agree that professional truck driver training, including defensive driving techniques, can help to keep our highways safer, a recent article in the Commercial Carrier Journal reported that more and more companies are requesting exemptions to these trainings. What kinds of exemptions are companies seeking? In effect, they want to allow “learner’s permit holders who have passed the CDL skills test to drive a truck without a CDL holder in the front seat.”

Other trucking companies have been granted this exemption, and it is ultimately up to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to decide whether or not to grant such exemptions. Other exemption requests are also pending, but safety advocates continue to voice concern about reductions in driver training. In short, allowing drivers with less training onto the highways could ultimately result in preventable trucking accidents.

If you have questions about filing a trucking accident lawsuit, do not hesitate to contact a Naperville truck accident lawyer about your case. Contact Woodruff Johnson & Evans today to learn more about how we can assist you.

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