Driving a tractor-trailer requires more skills, knowledge and experience than driving smaller vehicles. For this reason, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has specific requirements that must be met before an inexperienced truck driver can be certified to drive one of these huge trucks on their own. One of these requirements, found under FMCSA regulation 49 CFR 383.25(a)(I), states that an inexperienced truck driver that holds a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) must be accompanied by the holder of a valid CDL and must the fully licensed driver must be in the front seat next to the CLP holder.
Requests for Exemption
On Nov. 28, 2014, the FMCSA announced that C.R. England Inc. had requested an exemption from the requirement that a licensed CDL holder accompany an inexperienced truck driver, stating that there is a desperate need for truck drivers and that it would be too expensive to get the inexperienced truck driver back to their local motor vehicle departments to get the new CDLs. The company is requesting that any new driver who has passed the CDL skills test but not yet received the CDL document to be permitted to drive the big trucks without a fully licensed CDL driver. Public comments, which can be accessed by clicking here, on the request are open until Dec. 29, 2014.
Inexperienced Truck Driver Statistics
Because driving a tractor-trailer requires special skills, it is important that people behind the wheel have adequate training. Some of the most common causes of truck crashes include:
- Loss of control of the truck
- Vehicle failure
- Shifting cargo
- Improper maneuvering
- Driver fatigue
Drivers with little training may be unable to handle the big truck when these types of events occur, making them more likely to be involved in an accident than truck drivers with experience. Therefore, by requiring inexperienced drivers to spend more time driving with an experienced driver in the passenger seat, the risk of accident could be reduced as the experience driver could offer advice on how to handle issues that may cause a crash.
Have You Been Injured Because an Inexperienced Driver Was Behind the Wheel of a Semi-Truck?
If you have been injured in an accident with a semi-truck driver, or if a loved one has died from injuries sustained in an accident with a tractor-trailer and you believe an inexperienced driver may have been an fault, contact the American Injury Attorney Group to learn what rights you may have. American Injury Attorney Group can evaluate your case with no out-of-pocket cost to you and refer you to one of our affiliated attorneys if we believe you have a claim. You may be eligible to recover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering from your semi-truck crash. Call American Injury Attorney Group today to find out more information.