The Importance of Truck Driver Safety and Training Programs

The federal government recently changed trucking regulations to require a baseline training level for entry-level truck drivers. Driving an 80,000-pound truck requires precision and experience. However, some profit-focused trucking companies do not invest the money they need in training because it comes at the expense of their profits.

Truck drivers make many quick decisions whenever they get behind the wheel. They often face sudden challenges where they must rely on their training. In addition, they need to understand their actions’ ramifications on safety.

One of the significant issues with truck driver training is that it is outsourced to for-profit centers. Truck drivers can be on the road with little experience. Even with the new rules, truck drivers can operate a large vehicle with little training, often obtaining a CDL in several weeks.

Safety is about more than a few classes that drivers must complete, either as a prerequisite of their employment or as an annual refresher. Everything starts at the top with a corporate commitment to safety. Truck drivers can observe and internalize what is critical to management in daily operations.

How Trucking Companies Can Improve Compliance and Safety

Truck drivers come and go. Many will drop out of the profession after a short time. It is up to the company to set the standard that each driver must follow. Management can institute a culture of compliance by doing the following:

  • Require drivers to do more than the bare minimum of training.
    • Companies should set a tone from the top that prioritizes safety, even at the expense of profits.
    • Companies should monitor compliance with federal regulations and safety principles on an ongoing basis.
  • Take all reports of potential safety issues seriously.
    • Drivers must see that their company is committed to safety and does not cut corners. Then, they will know that safety is the priority. If they see that the company cuts corners and puts profits first, the driver will not take safety seriously. They may see that being cautious and safe could come at the expense of their employment.

Spending on Safety Could Save Money in the Long Run

Perhaps the most crucial incentive for trucking companies to invest in safety training is that it can help protect them from liability. First, training would help reduce the number of serious accidents drivers cause, leading to large settlements and jury awards. Second, a jury would look closely at the trucking company’s safety culture when determining an award in a lawsuit. If the jury sees that the trucking company failed to invest in adequate training for its drivers, it would be a factor that the jury considers when deciding whether to award punitive damages.

Call a Baltimore Truck Accident Attorney at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton to Take Legal Action

If you have been injured in a truck accident, you may need legal help. Contact a Baltimore truck accident attorney at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton today. Call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.

We have offices in Baltimore, Glen Burnie, Lanham, and Owings Mills, allowing us to represent clients in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.