Personal Injury Lawyers,
Jacksonville, FL

Could CDL Testing Changes Mean More Inexperienced Drivers?

A young person driving a tractor-trailer on the highway.

Large commercial vehicles such as tractor-trailers require specialized skills and knowledge to operate safely due to their size, weight, and unique handling. An unqualified driver can easily cause a truck accident that results in severe injuries or fatalities. That’s why drivers are required to undergo training before they are allowed to have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

Before getting their CDL, truckers must take a CDL test. These tests assess an applicant's knowledge of traffic laws, vehicle operation skills, and ability to handle various driving scenarios specific to commercial vehicles. The rigorous nature of CDL testing helps ensure that drivers possess the necessary skills and knowledge to operate these vehicles safely.

Changes aimed at streamlining the process

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is proposing some changes to CDL testing.

“FMCSA believes the proposed changes will further address CMV driver shortages, enhance supply chain stability, and provide appropriate regulatory relief without impacting safety,” the agency said in a notice of proposed rulemaking.

The changes include:

  • Expanding applicants’ ability to take a CDL skills test in a state other than their state of domicile.
  • Permitting a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holder who has passed the CDL skills test to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) on public roads without having a qualified CDL holder in the passenger seat.
  • Eliminating the requirement that an applicant wait at least 14 days to take the CDL skills test following initial issuance of the CLP.
  • Requiring that third-party knowledge examiners be subject to the training, certification, and record check standards currently applicable to state knowledge examiners and third-party knowledge testers be subject to the auditing and monitoring requirements now applicable to third-party skills testers.
  • Removing the requirement that CMV drivers must have a passenger (P) endorsement to transport CMVs designed to carry passengers, including school buses, when the vehicle is being transported in a driveaway-towaway operation and the vehicle is not carrying any passengers.

Proposed changes facing opposition

But truck safety groups argue the rule changes could make the roads less safe.

“No estimation of negative safety impacts is attempted in its cost-benefit analysis,” Zach Calahan, executive director of the Truck Safety Coalition, told FreightWaves. “TSC and its crash victims forcefully believe FMCSA has a mandate to estimate the safety risk and cost of every proposed rulemaking. If FMCSA … is unwilling to take this requirement seriously, meaningful progress to zero fatalities will be unfortunately stuck in neutral.”

An unqualified commercial truck driver is more likely to cause a collision that leaves people with serious and sometimes life-changing injuries. Medical expenses for surgery, hospitalization, medication, physical therapy, and follow-up appointments can add up quickly. It may take months or even years for truck accident victims to recover from their injuries.

An experienced truck accident attorney can fight for you

But recovering financial compensation can be complicated. Trucking companies and their insurance carriers will aggressively fight claims because there’s often a lot at stake for everyone involved. That’s why you need an experienced Jacksonville truck accident lawyer on your side if you’ve been injured. The attorneys at Pajcic & Pajcic can help protect your rights and aggressively advocate for your best interests.

We understand the seriousness of truck accidents and how trucking companies can make it difficult for you to get fair compensation. We investigate trucking companies and know where to look for evidence that helps prove negligence. Our attorneys have recovered hundreds of millions for victims.

In one case, we were able to recover punitive damages against a trucking company for clients who were injured in an accident caused by a driver with a terrible driving record who had been fired by two other trucking companies.

Learn more about how we can help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.

Categories: Posts

Pajcic & Pajcic
1 Independent Dr Suite 1900
Jacksonville, FL 32202

Local: 904-358-8881

Fax: 904-354-1180