Driving an 18-wheeler is no easy task. The size and weight of large commercial trucks, combined with the possibility of shifting loads, make them much more difficult to maneuver than smaller vehicles. When a truck accident occurs, injuries and even deaths are common.
Trucking companies should recognize this danger and spend a reasonable amount of time and money to train drivers before sending them out onto crowded highways alongside smaller, more vulnerable vehicles. Although some larger companies do accept this responsibility, unfortunately, many smaller operations are willing to employ drivers who only meet the minimum requirements for a commercial driver’s license in their state.
In many instances, this may be only a few hours of training. Most of us spent considerably more time than that behind the wheel of our family’s sedan with a parent instructing us before we were allowed to drive ourselves across town to see a movie or grab a burger.
What the Suit Alleges
According to a federal lawsuit filed by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and others against the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), it is time for federal officials to update the training standards required for beginner-level truckers. The suit alleges that Congress gave the DOT instructions to implement rules on driver training over 20 years ago, but it has still not been done. Other Congressional mandates and even two other lawsuits have also allegedly been ignored by the DOT.
The Relief Sought by the Teamsters
The Teamsters, along with Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways, are seeking a Writ of Mandamus from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia requiring the DOT to outline training standards for would-be commercial truck drivers. Currently, drivers are only required to complete 10 hours of classroom lectures and pass a test in order to receive a commercial driver’s license.
The proponents of the lawsuit insist that truck drivers should have a better understanding of the rules and regulations concerning the trucking industry before being allowed behind the wheel. By not insisting on proper training for new truckers, the DOT is shirking the responsibility entrusted to it by the federal government. Too many people are being hurt as a result.
The number of truck crashes has been steadily rising for several years. It is estimated that truck crashes injure over 70,000 people in the United States annually and claim the lives of around 4,000 Americans every year. Commercial vehicle crashes also cost almost $100 billion per year.
If You Have Been the Victim of a Negligent Truck Driver
At the Law Offices of John C. Manoog, III, we understand that each case is unique and deserves individualized attention. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a truck accident or other type of wreck, we will be happy to schedule an appointment to discuss the particulars of your case. You can contact us online or by phone at (888)262-6664. We welcome the opportunity to serve injured persons throughout Plymouth, Hyannis, and the greater Cape Cod area. The first consultation is free. Nos falamos Portugues!
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