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Is Poor Training Causing Trucking Accidents in California?

Truckers in California carry immense responsibility. Not only are they tasked with getting cargo from point A to point B, but they must also avoid accidents and drive safely. Unfortunately, far too many truckers fail in both tasks. But why is this? Could poor training be a contributing factor? What has changed in the trucking industry within the past few years that allows poorly trained truckers to take to the roads, and what can we do to address the situation? Poor training might help a company improve its bottom line, but it has enormous costs on the rest of society. Truck accidents can cause life-altering, traumatic, and serious injuries for innocent motorists. Some victims never truly recover, and some family members end up losing loved ones due to truck accidents.

If you have experienced these tragedies firsthand, you already know how dangerous truck accidents can be. If you find yourself in this situation, you should get in touch with a truck accident attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can guide you toward a fair, adequate settlement that you can use to pay your medical bills and cover your missed wages. In addition, a settlement can provide compensation for non-economic damages such as depression, PTSD, lasting anxiety, loss of consortium, emotional distress, disfigurement, and much more.

Due to the statute of limitations, it always makes sense to get in touch with a qualified attorney as soon as possible. Wait too long, and you might lose the opportunity to sue and recover compensation forever. In addition, it’s worth mentioning that internet research can only get you so far. While it is certainly a solid first step, no amount of Googling is going to provide you with the same results as meeting with a qualified attorney. During your first consultation, your attorney can assess your unique situation and provide targeted advice in a manner that the internet cannot.

Trucking Companies are Now Hiring Younger Drivers

Back in 2021, the trucking industry was dealing with a major trucker shortage. There simply were not enough truckers to actually drive the vehicles that shipping companies had in their parking lots. To combat this issue, the trucking companies lobbied for the government to lower its regulatory standards – allowing people to get behind the wheel who would have previously been considered unfit to drive.

The most notable example of this involved the US government allowing drivers as young as 18 to start driving semi-trucks for a living. Numerous state governments immediately amended their laws to allow 18-year-olds to quickly and easily get their Class A licenses – thereby opening the doors for teen truckers across the nation. After obtaining their trucking license, these young drivers would have the ability to cross state lines. Previously, most states only allowed drivers under the age of 21 to obtain a class B or C license. Not only would this allow 18-year-olds to drive semi-trucks, but it would also allow them to drive school buses and other larger vehicles.

But what’s the big deal? Are 18-year-olds all unsafe drivers? No – of course not. There are some 18-year-olds who are more responsible, sober, and skilled than many elderly truckers who should have retired a long time ago. That being said, the statistics do not lie. A considerable number of fatal accidents in the United States involve teenagers, and the field of psychology tells us that these young individuals are sometimes incapable of making calm, rational decisions in the same way as adults. You also have to consider the fact that 18-year-olds obviously have less experience than veteran truckers, and that they have not learned from as many past mistakes.

Concern Over Trucker Training Standards

Recently, a number of concerned voices have pointed out issues with trucker training standards. On September 19th, 2022, CNBC reported that some truck safety advocates had been lobbying in Congress for better, longer training for truckers. One trucker stated:

“I see a lot of truckers that are young and aren’t quite as careful as they should be. You see a lot of tailgating you see a lot of and pull out to pass another truck when you are driving another half a mile-an-hour longer. So, you are out in the passing lane for 20 miles trying to get around holding up traffic.” 

These advocates also pointed out that truck fatalities have surged 13% over the previous year, totaling 5,600 deaths. In addition, there were over 146,000 injuries in 2022 alone. This also represents a 66% increase in truck fatalities since 2009. Despite these worrying statistics, it appears that policymakers in Washington are doing very little to combat the issue. Some advocates stated that this crisis “does not receive the attention it deserves,” while others highlighted the “insurmountable debt” victims often face due to medical costs after truck accidents.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced truck accident attorney in California, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. With our assistance, you can work towards a fair settlement for everything you have been forced to endure. This might include damages such as injuries, lost wages, emotional distress, and much more. Rest assured that you have every right to pursue fair compensation in this situation – but you will need help from a legal professional for the best results. We know how life-altering and traumatic these truck accidents can be, and we are ready to fight for your rights and represent you in court if necessary. Book your consultation today to get started.

Sources

  1. https://www.kfyrtv.com/2022/09/20/some-truckers-say-more-training-should-be-required-drive-semi-truck/
  2. https://raskin.house.gov/press-releases?id=B9BDD875-A3D6-44D0-A3FF-23AD35E86006
  3. https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-hochul-announces-second-phase-third-party-commercial-driver-license-road-test-program
  4. https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/19/business/18-year-old-truck-drivers/index.html
  5. https://www.wpr.org/pilot-program-allowing-18-year-old-long-haul-truck-drivers-could-boost-industry
  6. https://www.aftermarketnews.com/ntsb-calls-for-alcohol-detection-systems-in-all-new-vehicles/
  7. https://time.com/6144516/truck-driver-training/
  8. https://hbr.org/2022/05/new-data-suggests-the-u-s-trucking-shortage-may-be-ending