Operating an 18-wheeler or semi-truck is far more involved than driving a normal passenger vehicle. Eighteen-wheelers are much larger and heavier than normal vehicles, making them difficult to handle; drivers require a significant amount of training to learn about no-zones, braking distance and how to maneuver a vehicle with a large trailer. Despite training and licensing requirements, inadequately trained truck drivers still manage to get behind the wheel and onto our roads and highways. A truck’s weight, length, and the size of its cargo can make it particularly difficult to maneuver: trucks are also especially dangerous if they are transporting hazardous materials.
Unfortunately, some truck driving companies fail to properly train new drivers. Inexperienced and under-trained drivers are a major threat to motorist safety and can make costly mistakes, putting themselves and other individuals at risk of a significant injury.
The average tractor trailer can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. To ensure the safety of everyone on the road, truck drivers are required by both state and federal laws to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). They must also be familiar with several regulations that specifically apply to truck drivers, including hours-of-services (HOS) and other regulations intended to combat fatigue. Drivers who wish to transport hazardous materials must apply for an endorsement before transporting these materials.
Further, many trucking companies require new drivers to ride along with an experienced driver called a “finisher” for a few weeks in order to learn the finer points of driving a commercial truck safely.
But not all trucking companies or independent drivers go to these lengths to ensure safe driving, and inexperienced truckers can cause serious accidents. The laws give victims of truck crashes the right to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for their injuries, and most lawsuits related to semi-truck accidents allege negligence on the part of more than one defendants
In order to win a negligent training lawsuit, a plaintiff must prove that
- The defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff;
- The defendant breached the duty;
- The plaintiff sustained injuries caused by the defendant's behavior.