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Do Commercial Truck Drivers Receive Enough Training?

Do Commercial Truck Drivers Receive Enough Training?

For many people, driving next to a big truck can be terrifying. While you may be confident with your own driving skills, you don’t necessarily know what types of experience, skills, or training the person operating the truck has. Below, we discuss what it takes to become a commercial truck driver and whether such requirements are enough to prevent trucking accidents.

CDL Requirements in Florida

To drive a commercial truck, one must have a commercial driver license (CDL). In Florida and in most other states, applicants must do the following before getting licensed:

  • Obtain a driver’s license
  • Be 21 years of age or older to drive interstate (across state lines)
  • Be 18 years of age or older to drive intrastate (within the state only)
  • Pass a vision test
  • Pass a skills test
  • Pass a knowledge test

In order to meet the requirements regarding skills and knowledge, prospective truckers will typically enroll in a trucking school that will prepare them for the tests.

New Training Standards Implemented in 2020

On February 7, 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) implemented new training standards for entry-level truck drivers. Essentially, this means that entry-level drivers who are pursuing Class A or Class B CDL’s will be required to complete a comprehensive training program of 31-course topics and 19 behind-the-wheel skills.

Additionally, training schoolers are now required to report their behind-the-wheel hours to the Department of Transportation (DOT) and register all self-certifying students with the agency. Lastly, truck driver trainers are required to have:

  • Two years of experience
  • A clean driving record
  • A medical certification

Driver Error and Trucking Accidents

Despite legislative changes to trucker standards and seemingly adequate training requirements, truck accidents caused by driver error are a leading cause of large truck crashes across the nation. Some of the most common examples of truck driver error and negligence include:

  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Driving while fatigued
  • Making illegal maneuvers
  • Failing to check blind spots
  • Following cars too closely

Most trucking school programs only provide training for a short period of time; some even advertise their potential applicants can receive their CDL within a month or even 15 days of training. This means that even drivers without much experience behind the wheel of a big truck can be on the road within a month. Additionally, due to the shortage of truck drivers in the U.S., many companies are eager to hire drivers right out of school.

Injured in a Truck Accident?

At Politis & Matovina, our Daytona Beach truck accident attorneys represent those who are injured in large truck accidents. We have recovered over $200 million in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients, and our team will proudly fight for your recovery, too.

Contact our firm at (386) 333-6613 to speak with our legal team today. We offer free, no-obligation consultations and answer our phones 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.