Truck drivers hold a safety-sensitive position, operating vehicles that are heavy and potentially dangerous in the event of an accident. It is crucial for truck drivers and trucking companies to take all necessary precautions to ensure the safe transport of goods on the roadways. One way to reduce the number of truck accidents is by ensuring that all employed truckdrivers have the required training and experience to safely operate their vehicles.
Statistics show that there are over 3,000,000 commercial vehicles traveling on U.S. roadways, resulting in more than 5,000 deaths and over 100,000 injuries every year. A study revealed that approximately 27% of accidents directly caused by commercial vehicles are due to inadequate training. Providing sufficient training to new and returning drivers is essential in reducing the occurrence of these accidents.
Unfortunately, the United States is facing a shortage of approximately 50,000 commercial vehicle drivers, which has widespread impacts on various industries reliant on transportation. This shortage has led to a rush to train new employees, some of whom may be younger, less experienced, and lacking the necessary characteristics for long-distance driving. The short training period for these new drivers may not adequately prepare them for the demands of their journeys, contributing to a higher frequency of accidents involving commercial vehicles.
New drivers often find that the amount of classroom training provided is inadequate, leaving them feeling ill-prepared when they begin their careers as truck drivers. After completing the classroom portion, practical experience training begins behind the wheel. During this phase, drivers learn vehicle inspection, operation of important functions, federal regulations, interpretation of warning lights, and overall vehicle operation. Once this process is completed, drivers are left to embark on their first runs with their new employers. Due to the shortage of drivers, many trucking companies hire new employees straight out of driving school, while others require a certain level of experience depending on the product and skill requirements. Unfortunately many companies cannot spare the manpower to have a passenger accompany new drivers.
Proper training is crucial for truck drivers to ensure they have the skills and knowledge necessary to operate their vehicles safely. It is essential for trucking companies to invest in comprehensive training programs to reduce accidents, injuries, and fatalities on the roadways. By prioritizing adequate training, we can work together to create a safer environment for both truckdrivers and other road users.