Thousands of Inexperienced Truckers Raise Crash Risk in Florida
The less experience a trucker has, the more likely they will cause a serious or fatal truck accident.
Since 2020, the number of Commercial Driver's Licenses (CDLs) issued in Florida has increased by more than 7,000 new licenses. While not every additional CDL was issued to a novice or a trucker, it is safe to assume we are sharing the roads with a lot more truckers than usual who are still learning how to properly operate tractor-trailers that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds.
Why does this matter?
Inexperience is one of the leading causes of truck accidents, including rollovers, multi-vehicle pileups, jackknifes, rear-end and head-on collisions, as well as underrides. In addition, the wave of new truck drivers increases the overall crash risk for all road users.
For example, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), truckers who have been driving for a year or less are approximately three times more likely to be involved in a crash compared to drivers with more than a year's experience. This statistic underscores the importance of proper training and experience for truck drivers, as it can significantly reduce the risk of truck accidents on the road.
At Pajcic & Pajcic, we understand everyone has to start somewhere. And the inexperienced truckers taking to U.S. highways are filling a critical gap in the supply chain - which, not too long ago, had an 80,000 truck-driver shortage. However, that doesn't mean truckers and trucking companies should not be held accountable when they are negligent.
If you have been in a Florida truck accident, contact Pajcic & Pajcic for a free case evaluation. At no cost to you, we can explain how the law applies to your situation and help you decide what to do next.
Our office is based in Jacksonville, Florida. We serve injured truck accident victims and the families of catastrophic or fatal truck accident victims throughout Florida and the U.S. Our truck accident lawyers fight aggressively for the justice and compensation our clients deserve.
How do inexperienced truckers cause more accidents?
Driver inexperience increases the risk to others because new truckers are more likely to make errors in judgment than veteran drivers. The following are among the top common factors most likely to contribute to crashes involving new truck drivers compared to more experienced ones:
- Make an error backing up
- Get distracted
- Driver fatigue
- Operate a truck under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Lose control due to road conditions or overcorrection
- Misjudge turns and distances.
- Tailgating (following too closely)
There are several steps that trucking companies can take in the hiring process to ensure that they are hiring safe drivers, including the following:
- Conduct thorough background checks: This should include checking the applicant's driving record, criminal history, and employment history.
- Require a commercial driver's license (CDL): Trucking companies should only hire drivers who possess a valid CDL, as this demonstrates that the driver has received the necessary training and passed the required tests.
- Administer pre-employment drug and alcohol testing: This is a crucial step to ensure that drivers are sober and fit to operate a commercial vehicle.
- Conduct a road test: This will allow the company to assess the applicant's driving skills and determine if they are capable of operating a commercial vehicle safely.
- Provide ongoing training: Companies should have a comprehensive training program in place to ensure that their drivers are well-trained and up-to-date on all safety regulations and procedures.
By taking these steps, trucking companies can help ensure that they are hiring safe, competent drivers who are fit to operate commercial vehicles on the road.
Safe driving tips to share the road with truckers
Almost every state is dealing with the hazards posed by new truckers.
Tips for driving safely alongside trucks include:
- Avoid driving in truck blind spots.
- Pass trucks promptly.
- Be aware that trucks and tractor-trailers cannot stop on a dime. It takes a fully loaded rig traveling 65 mph about 200 yards to come to a stop - and that's if conditions are ideal. Give trucks plenty of space.
- Stay a safe distance. If a truck wants to pass, let them.
While these tips can help reduce the risk of a crash, no matter how cautiously you drive, you can still become the victim of a bad truck accident. Sometimes, there is no getting out of the way of a distracted trucker or a driver who has lost control of a 40-ton truck.
Injured truck accident victims deserve compensation for their injuries, medical care, recovery, pain, and other losses. We can help.
Fighting for Jacksonville's accident victims since 1974
If a trucker has injured you or someone you love in an accident, our law firm can put you in the best position to recover the maximum compensation you deserve. At Pajcic & Pajcic, our Jacksonville truck accident lawyers have served Florida crash victims since the 1970s. As a result, we have extensive experience advocating for people hurt in complex truck accidents. Our case results include a historic $1 billion fatal truck accident verdict.
If you were injured or a loved one died in a Florida truck accident, contact us to learn more about your options. Our law firm offers free case consultations to injured truck accident victims and the families of fatal truck accident victims. A member of our team is available to hear from you any time, day or night. Contact us to schedule your free case consultation today.