The Obligation Of Proper Safety Training For Truck Drivers


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations were enacted to protect the public and help ensure that truck drivers on the road are as safe as possible.

Federal and Texas Safety Rules for Trucks

Rules for Truck DriversOne of the obligations of the trucking company or “motor carrier” is to ensure that the truck drivers are properly trained. Texas has adopted the Federal Safety Regulations.

Section 391.1 of the Federal Regulations clarifies that the rules establish the motor carrier’s minimum duties concerning the drivers’ qualifications. Motor carriers must ensure that the drivers of their rigs are qualified under regulations to drive the truck. The trucking company must maintain a driver qualification file to help document the company’s efforts.

Section 392 of the regulations mandate that those responsible for the management and driving of the vehicles and those supervising or training drivers must be instructed in and comply with the rules contained in that section.

Safety training is important because most preventable truck crashes occur because of one or more violations of federal safety rules. Ensuring that truck drivers are conversant and practice the safety rules is one critically important component of an effective safety program.

The Company Must Ensure Driver is Trained

Ongoing training of truck drivers is helpful to the company not only to comply with the obligations under the law but also to reduce claims against the company and keep the commercial truck driver’s insurance policies as low as possible.

Many large trucking companies maintain safety departments charged with the responsibility for ongoing safety training of their drivers. Other companies hire outside consultants to provide safety training to ensure their fleet is driven by drivers aware of the safety rules and obligations to which they are subject.

Some crashes, like a jackknife accident, can be prevented with safe driving and needed training.

Smaller Trucking Companies More Likely to Cut Corners

Some smaller trucking companies have their drivers attend classes provided by companies serving the trucking industry. However, some trucking companies do not heed their obligations to ensure the truckers are safe and compliant with the rules.

For truck drivers obtaining a commercial driver’s license is not that difficult. However, having a CDL does not make a driver qualified and conversant with the safety rules. It is the responsibility of the employer; the trucking companies to ensure that the person behind the wheel of their 18-wheelers is as safe as possible.

Frequently, it is not until an accident occurs and people are seriously injured or killed that the lack of safety training of the truck driver comes to light. This usually is discovered by one of the best truck accident attorneys. By then, it is too late.

If you have questions regarding a big rig accident, call our Houston office for a no-obligation consultation for truck accidents in Texas.

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