A Class A driver’s license is required for driving jobs involving a semi-trailer. It takes skill and experience in order to operate a big rig safely. Drivers should obtain this certification by going through the proper training. Inexperienced truck drivers can be a serious risk to others on the road and may be the cause of an accident. Consult a personal injury attorney in Atlanta if you or a loved one were injured in a serious or fatal truck crash.
Training Requirements for Entry-Level Truck Drivers
According to a report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), in 2010 there were about 5,600,000 commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. To become a CMV driver, the individual must obtain a proper driver's license.
A Class A driver's license allows the driver to operate vehicle combos with a gross combined weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds, as long as the gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicle that is towed is more than 10,000 pounds. A Class B license allows operation of smaller semi-trailers.
Although there are many reasons why a driver may be found at fault for an accident, untrained and inexperienced truck drivers may be more prone to make mistakes that lead to accidents. It is the responsibility of not only the driver, but also the trucking company that employs the driver to ensure the driver is properly licensed and qualified to operate the vehicle. Unfortunately, some employers are more concerned with their business and will put drivers on the road before they are ready.
Safety Audits of New Motor Carriers
The FMCSA has implemented safety audits that check for 16 specific violations of new companies as part of the New Entrant Program. When there is a violation, new entrants automatically will fail the safety audit.
An example of a violation is an employer knowingly allowing a driver to operate a semi when he or she does not have a valid Class A driver’s license. Another example is knowingly using a physically unqualified driver.
A personal injury attorney in Atlanta can investigate your accident to determine if there was a violation in which not only the driver is at fault, but also the trucking company. In some cases, this could result in a higher amount of compensation for your injuries.
Risks of Inexperienced Truck Drivers
An improperly trained truck driver may not know how to secure or balance a load properly. Loads that are unsecured or imbalanced can lead to the driver losing control and the truck tipping over or jackknifing.
Another risk is that an inexperienced driver may not be familiar with handling a truck in certain conditions such as heavy traffic or inclement weather, increasing the chance of a crash. Untrained or inexperienced truck drivers may not be familiar with traveling and handling the vehicle at different speeds, too.
This is why special training is required of any driver attempting to secure a Class A driver’s license. A personal injury attorney in Atlanta can obtain the documentation pertaining to the driver’s training and CDL to help determine if lack of training or experience may have been the cause of your accident.
If it is found that a lack of training was the reason for your crash and resulting injuries, the driver and the trucking company both could be found liable. To prevent truck accident evidence from being falsified or destroyed, it’s important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible.
Contacting a Personal Injury Attorney in Atlanta
Don’t delay contacting a personal injury attorney serving Atlanta clients at the Law Offices of Jason R. Schultz. You stand to lose nothing with a free consultation. Call us today at 1-404-474-0804 to discuss driver qualifications like Class A driver's licenses and whether an unqualified or inexperienced truck driver may be to blame for the accident.