Inadequate Training is a Major Cause of Chicago Truck Accidents
Holding truck companies are liable when they fail to properly train and monitor their drivers in Illinois
Driving a truck is a dangerous job. Really big trucks, such as semi-rigs and 18-wheelers, are especially life threatening. A driver who is operating a truck carrying hazardous waste needs to absolutely know what he or she is doing. Drivers of commercial trucks are required by federal law to have a commercial driver’s license. Just getting the license requires passing a physical examination and a physical test to prove the driver really can operate the vehicle safely. And passing the test is just the beginning, not the end, of a driver’s education.
At Gainsberg Law, our Chicago truck accident lawyers understand the federal and state laws that regulate truck companies and drivers. We understand the truck industry standards and use violations of those standards to help prove liability. Training should be regular and required for every driver. Training should also be current, which means drivers should be educated on new truck features, safety tips, and laws.
Standard truck training obligations
It is not an excuse for a truck company to say they followed the minimum that the laws require. The trucking industry has its own rules for what education is required. Truck companies have a duty to speak with other truck companies and know what safety instructions work best. After all, the safety of the truck driver, other drivers, passengers, and bystanders is paramount. Our Chicago truck accident attorneys review the following education issues whenever an accident occurs:
- Compliance with federal law. Truck companies have a duty to regularly inspect and maintain their equipment. This duty extends to the drivers, who must understand the truck they drive, what can be fixed in an emergency, and when they should get help. Drivers should also understand when the truck should not be placed on the road because it needs repairs.
- Commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs). Federal law has specific regulations that define which vehicles qualify as commercial factors. Some of the key factors are the gross vehicle weight rating of the truck, whether hazardous materials are being transported, and if 10 or more people are being transported.
- Getting proper rest. Truckers should be taught that there are limits on the amount of time they can drive and the amount of rest time that is required.
- Keeping proper logs. Truckers must keep accurate logs of their driving — mileage, route, time of operation, and other details.
- Understanding the truck. Drivers need to be trained on the specific truck they drive. Just because a driver knows how to drive a flat-bed truck doesn’t mean he or she knows how to drive a semi-rig truck.
- Drunk driving. Truck companies should explain to their employees that driving while being intoxicated is not allowed. The drivers should know that commercial drivers are held to a much higher standard than other drivers.
- Inclement weather. Rain, fog, snow, sun, and other elements can make driving a truck treacherous. Drivers should be prepared to handle these elements. Handling a truck in bad weather is not the same as operating a car in bad weather.
Truck companies need to train their drivers on other factors as well. Drivers should understand the dangers of driving while tired, how to handle objects in the road, and the risks of driving while distracted. They should also appreciate that cars and motorcycles will not have the same reactions as truck drivers too.
Make an appointment with an experienced Chicago truck accident lawyer today
What makes so many accidents upsetting is that with reasonable preparation they could have been avoided. Proper training takes a minimal amount of time, yet too many companies cut corners by failing to educate their drivers. Most companies know or should know what needs to be taught. At Gainsberg Law, our Chicago trucking accident lawyers have the experience and skills to persuasively and effectively argue your case. The sooner you speak with a lawyer, the quicker you can get justice. Please call us at 312-313-1621 to arrange to speak with a lawyer. You can also fill out our contact form.