How Common Are Truck Accidents?
According to the National Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), nearly 50,000 accidents involving big trucks occur each year. Among these, roughly 4,500 result in death. Compared to the overall number of car accidents in the United States each year - 6 million - that number doesn't seem significant. However, it may point to a larger problem overall.
State Regulations for Obtaining a Commercial Driver's License
Despite FMCSA claiming that "driving a commercial motor vehicle requires a higher level of…experience, skills…," the regulations imposed on those who wish to apply for this kind of license show this is not always the case. The Illinois Secretary of State's office outlines precisely what these include:
- Must be 18 to apply and operate within the state of Illinois and 21 to operate throughout the country
- Must have a valid license
- Pay the appropriate fees
- Must pass four written tests: General Knowledge, Combination Knowledge, Air Brake Knowledge, and Endorsement Knowledge for the specific vehicle you wish to drive
- Pass a driving test
Nowhere in these regulations does it require that one must do a certain amount of classroom or road hours. While there are classes you can take to better prepare for the exams, they are not required by state law.
Why This Is a Problem
Since there are such limited requirements needed for someone to obtain a Commercial Driver's License (CDL), it's no surprise that there are a large number of inexperienced truck drivers on the road. As with any motor vehicle, inexperience often leads to dangerous and often negligent driving. With the most common causes of truck accidents being fatigue, distracted driving, and speeding, the risk of hiring inexperienced drivers can be significant.
Unfortunately, this also lends itself to a higher turnover rate. According to the American Trucking Association, the annual turnover rate has steadily increased over the years and is now at 73-89%, depending on the type of truck. This is contributing to a trucker shortage and increases the urgency for companies to higher these inexperienced drivers.
With this in mind, it is unsurprising that there have been several lawsuits against the federal government over the years for their lack of training regulation.
Injured in a Truck Accident? We Can Help
Inexperienced drivers on the road can pose significant problems for your family. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a truck and would like to take action, trust the attorneys at Turner & Sackett LLC. They are dedicated to helping you seek appropriate compensation for any injuries sustained. Call (800) 653-0198 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.