According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are more than 1.5 million tractor trailer drivers who are employed in this country. Every day, tens of thousands of them travel America’s highways. Many of them are experienced; however, some of them are not.
Of course, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that inexperienced drivers increase the odds of highways accidents. In fact, every year about 5,000 people die in semi-truck wrecks in the United States.
In an effort to protect lives and keep America’s roads safe, the FMCSA wants to reduce those numbers as much as possible. To do that, the agency recently announced plans to create new rules that would raise the minimum training standards for entry-level commercial drivers.
“Over the next 30 years, we’re going to be relying on trucks – and truckers – to move more than 40 percent more freight than they currently do,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in Occupational Health and Safety. “With more people and freight crossing our country than ever before, this committee’s work will be critical to ensuring that commercial drivers are fully capable of operating their vehicles safely.”
A negotiated rulemaking committee, composed of 26 members, will examine minimum training requirements, including length of classroom instruction and behind-the-wheel experience, accreditation versus certification of CDL training programs and schools, curricula for passenger, property and hazardous materials carriers, instructor qualifications, as well as other areas.
“Ensuring roadway safety starts with the driver,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. “Finalizing new training requirements for truck and bus operators is one of my top priorities and we have tapped a group of uniquely qualified stakeholders to help us work through the details and meet this goal.”
The new training rules and committee are part of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) which directs FMCSA to establish minimum training requirements for individuals seeking to obtain an intrastate or interstate commercial driver’s license (CDL) and become a professional truck or bus operator.
The truck accident attorneys at EJ Leizerman and Associates LLC commend the FMCSA’s effort to put more experienced commercial drivers on the road. Horror stories about accidents involving poorly trained truck drivers appear in the news far too often than not. Creating stronger training requirements for commercial drivers will greatly reduce the number of accidents we see regularly making headlines.
If you or someone you know have been injured by a commercial truck, call us today to learn how we possibly can help with your case. Consultations are free. You can reach us at 1-800-628-4500.