A recently published study by the US Department of Transportation – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration emphasizes the role of less experienced truck drivers in the causation of accidents.
The study was aimed at determining the “critical reasons” and associated facts that contributed to serious commercial vehicle crashes. Using available data, the analysis examined the association between professional truck drivers’ experience in driving a big rig and an accident being attributed to the 18-wheeler driver.
The results are not surprising. Truck drivers with less than five years of driving experience have a much greater chance of being a cause of a truck crash. The research concluded that drivers with less than five years of experience are 41% more likely to be the cause of the truck accident than a driver with more than five years experience.
Similarly, the more experience a truck driver has the less likely it is that they will be the cause of the serious truck wreck. This study also dovetails with other studies done by insurance companies in analyzing the risks faced by their insured trucking companies.
It is no secret that the number of truck drivers in the United States is substantially less than the current demand. You probably have even heard radio ads of trucking companies looking to hire new drivers. The shortage of drivers has forced many trucking companies to hire inexperienced and less than stellar drivers to fill their openings.
Many trucking companies are also paying sign-on bonuses to attract better drivers from other companies. Until the shortage of truck drivers evens out, our highways across the United States will be less safe than they could be with more experienced drivers behind the wheel.
Many activists are calling for increased training prior to licensing new truck drivers to take the wheel of an 80,000-pound vehicle.
Stricker Regulations Needed
New Entry-Level Training (ELT) regulations become active in 2022. While the regulations address a few areas of concern, the new regs are wholly inadequate to address the need for more experience before a new driver is turned loose with a 40-ton vehicle.
Most Avoidable Truck Accidents Involve Driver Error
The truck driver shortage has put pressure on political leaders to avoid extra safety training for inexperienced truckers. But in states like Texas which has more fatal truck accidents than any other state, failing to address the safety of Texans is a serious mistake.
The fact is the more experienced the driver the less likely he will be in an accident. Our 18 wheeler accident lawyers have seen numerous examples of companies hiring drivers who were not ready for the responsibility of operating a big rig.
For further information you can view the report here:
Call The Houston 18 Wheeler Accident Law Firm for a no obligation truck wreck consultation. 281-893-0760.