Brad Pistotnik Law
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Does a CDL mean a truck driver is trained properly?

Does a CDL mean a truck driver is trained properly?

Truck accident lawyers and truck accident attorneys often learn that a large trucking company and motor carrier will not provide any safety training or defensive driving training during an orientation process for a new hire truck driver. Many times, the smaller and medium-sized trucking companies don’t even have an orientation. When I depose the safety director for the trucking company, in many instances the Safety Director will say my truck driver is qualified because they have a CDL. They will argue we don’t need to have training because our driver has a CDL and therefore he is trained and qualified. This is absolute nonsense and is false.

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) published a bulletin entitled, “On Guard” which was publication number FHWA-MC-97-004 and was published by the Office of Motor Carriers in January 1997 to warn and advise motor carriers, trucking companies, bus operators and the entire trucking industry that it is insufficient to rely on a commercial driver’s license (CDL) as a basis that the new driver is trained and experienced. This publication notes that that concept is not true and can be a very dangerous mistake.

The Federal Highway Administration warned trucking companies that a CDL does not indicate that the holder is a trained or experienced truck or bus driver. They also wrote that a CDL merely indicates the holder has passed a minimal skills and knowledge test concerning the type of vehicle that he or she proposes to drive. They were very strong in stating that a CDL endorsement does not indicate that the holder is trained or experienced in the area covered by the endorsement. The Federal Highway Administration wrote that a CDL endorsement does not prove that a driver is qualified under 49 CFR 391.11(b)(3). That regulation requires that a driver must be able, by reason of experience, training, or both to safely operate the commercial motor vehicle he or she drives. This requirement is not met by simply ascertaining that a prospective truck driver holds a CDL. Thus, the trucking company is required to actually train and test a truck driver to find out if they have necessary skills to prevent injury and death with these large, dangerous, hazardous and destructive motor vehicles.

When you want a truck accident attorney or truck accident lawyer that actually understands risk management and the fact that a CDL does not mean a truck driver is properly qualified or trained, you should consider hiring Brad Pistotnik Law ®. Our truck accident attorneys and truck accident lawyers know that the CDL means absolutely nothing. We know how to depose truck drivers and their safety directors. We know how to help you. We want to help you. Call us now for a free consultation. You can call us at one 800-241-BRAD or 800-WIN-BULL or 316-684-4400. We have offices in Wichita, Kansas and in Garden City, Kansas. We have lawyers who are licensed in many different states including Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Illinois, Texas, Utah and Florida. If we don’t win you don’t pay us a dime. Brad Pistotnik can be reached on his cell phone at 316-706-5020. Tony Atterbury can be reached on his cell phone at 316-617-9237. We are The Bull Attorneys! ®

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