Training needed for over-the-road drivers

There are uniform federally-mandated knowledge and training requirements before a person can receive a commercial driver’s licensered truck on highway (CDL). The current regulations do not include training for many of the issues faced by long-haul truck drivers, despite the fact that Congress mandated such standards be addressed in the 1990s.

While managing my law practice, I obtained my CDL. I like to joke that parallel parking a big rig was tougher than passing the bar exam, but it’s a joke that’s true! I use myself as a perfect example. I passed written and driving tests that enabled to receive my CDL. That does NOT mean that I am trained nor ready to drive a tractor trailer across the country. Practical on-road training should include bad-weather driving, parking, combating fatigue, cargo securing and inspecting, routing, mentor training and many other areas.

I applaud OOIDA, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, for it’s national campaign “Truckers for Safety” that it launched this month, encouraging commercial drivers training programs to fill in the current safety gaps to help ensure professional, safe career drivers end up on our roads.

Michael Leizerman is a truck accident lawyer who wrote the three volume legal treatise Litigating Truck Accident Cases.

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