Recently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) indicated that it was hosting a public listening session to solicit ideas and information on the issues of entry-level training for commercial vehicle drivers.
Entry-level driver training, or ELDT, is essential to ensure that drivers have the experience and information they need to safely drive a commercial vehicle. FMCSA will be implementing new provisions on ELDT in order to comply with the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21).
Our San Antonio truck accident attorneys know that proper driver training can significantly reduce the risk of accidents while poor or insufficient training can make a crash far more likely to occur. FMCSA rules on driver training need to be designed to allow new drivers to get the experience they need to build careers in the commercial trucking industry while at the same time keeping the public safe from the risks presented by an inexperienced driver.
Entry-level driver training has become an issue of increasing importance in recent years as a result of the serious truck driver shortage that is occurring throughout the United States. As CNN reported in 2012, there are an estimated 200,000 truck driving jobs open nationwide for long-haul drivers that cannot be filled because there aren't drivers to fill them.
Further, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated a significant increase in the number of drivers needed. In the next few years, demand for trucking professionals is projected to increase 20 percent with 330,100 jobs added over the course of the decade. The shortage, therefore, is likely to just keep getting worse.
CNN identified the biggest hurdle for those interested in filing these jobs as getting a commercial driver’s license. However, the time and costs of completing the initial course are not the only issues that a driver needs to face.
Many commercial trucking companies have traditionally required two years of experience before hiring a commercial driver for large trucks. The expensive and difficult certification process coupled with the experience requirements, leave many finding it too difficult to get started.
The proposed FMCSA rules on ELDT are said to potentially make this whole problem worse. The new guidelines include, among other things, a requirement that truck drivers not only graduate from an approved/accredited CDL school but also that the program include both classroom training and road training. If you have been hit by an inexperienced truck driver and have suffered serious injuries call our Personal Injury Lawyer today!
According to Trucking Info, Commercial Driver’s License Schools (CDL schools) have reported that a number of problems will arise because of the new mandate. Issues include:
-Difficulty in determining how much practice time should be devoted to each skill since some drivers are better at different aspects of commercial driving than others.
-Small schools being unable to bear the additional expense of new training that wasn’t previously required.
-Large schools facing increased costs and thus becoming unable to grow and train more drivers.
Because of these and other problems, the new standards and driver training requirements may restrict U.S. job growth and make it even harder still for employers to find qualified candidates.
Yet, of course, there is also the issue of safety. Drivers of a large commercial truck have many things to learn and even a single mistake or error could result in a deadly crash. More on-the-road training could hopefully help to reduce these risks, saving lives in the process.
Local Expert Lawyers:
Board Certified Attorneys