Brad Pistotnik Law
Abogado El Toro

Why are so many trucking accidents increasing?

Why are so many trucking accidents increasing?

Tractor-trailer accidents continue to be a threat to citizens of Kansas and the entire United States. According to recent news, the reason for the increase is the recruitment of younger drivers by the trucking industry. There are presently approximately 48 states that allow drivers who are as young as 18 years of age to operate a heavy tractor-trailer or other semi and obtain valid CDLs. The American trucking Association (ATA) has one executive by the name of Chris Spear who is on a mission to recruit younger drivers as young as 18 years of age. The insurance industry has known for a long time that younger drivers are more dangerous than the older trained drivers. Insurance rates for male drivers usually are much higher until they reach the age of 25. This is because of the known statistics that younger male drivers are more accident prone. When a trucking company hires a young driver who is inexperienced the chances of having a truck accident with a car or motorcycle increase drastically.

The push for younger and lesser trained truck drivers will lead to a foreseeable rise in the number of accidents in the next decade. When these accidents occur, it is due to a problem with training and supervision.

Safety directors of trucking companies are required by the FMCSR to only hire qualified drivers. 49 CFR part 391.1 establishes minimum qualifications for persons who drive commercial motor vehicles. 49 CFR part 391.15 is a regulation on the qualification and disqualification of drivers and requires that the driver be disqualified if they have lost their driving privileges, has too many out-of-service orders or does not otherwise follow the federal regulations.

Every driver has to have a qualification file which looks at the driver’s application for employment, their driving record for the last 3 years, their past history of driving, their past employment as well as requiring a driver’s road test and certificate of a medical examiner.

When you put a young driver on the road and fail to train them over the myriad of safety regulations it is likely that an accident will occur. When a younger driver doesn’t have prior formal professional truck driving experience and drives too long or in violation of the maximum hours of service rules they become hazard on the highways for every other driver.

A better rule and best practice would be to only let younger drivers ride with drivers and train them over a substantial period of time. This would allow the driver to gain experience from observing the older driver. Younger drivers should be tested by comprehensive driver training and by actual hands-on experience by observation. Trucking companies should independently train the drivers in order to comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. When the drivers are not trained, accidents will happen.

Truck accident attorneys and lawyers who are trained in the special area of trucking accidents must understand and comprehend the FMCSR. Once a lawyer or attorney takes on a trucking case they must understand why the accidents occur and why they are increasing. A study of these regulations leads to the conclusion that almost all of the accidents arise as a result of trucking companies failing to qualify their drivers and permitting them to drive to the point of fatigue. The lack of qualification of drivers is a major problem in the United States and the hiring of young drivers with little to no experience well lead to a huge increase in the statistical rates of large truck accidents and semi accidents.

At Brad Pistotnik Law we understand the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and we are able to help injured victims that have been injured as result of a negligent truck driver. You can hire us in Wichita, Kansas or in Garden City, Kansas and we take cases in multiple states since we have lawyers licensed in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri, Texas, Florida and Illinois. The phone number to reach us is 316-684-4400. You can call Brad Pistotnik at 316-706-5020 (cell). You can call Tony Atterbury at 316-617-5732 (cell). Our office address in Wichita, Kansas is 10111 E. 21st St. N., Suite 204, Wichita, Kansas 67206. Our office address in Garden City, Kansas is 3102 E. Kansas Avenue, Suite 100, Garden City, Kansas 67846. We are the Bull Attorneys and we are here to serve every personal injury client that has a problem with an insurance company.