There are a lot of different ways for a truck accident to happen. One of them is when the driver is poorly or improperly trained. These situations happen more often than one would assume, as trucking companies try to get new drivers out on the road as quickly as possible to make money delivering cargo.
When a driver's inexperience or improper training leads to a crash that hurts an innocent driver in Georgia, the trucking company responsible for the lack of training should be held accountable. The truck accident lawyers at the Hadden Law Firm work diligently to make that happen and to recover the compensation for the victims that covers their losses.
Truck Drivers Need to be Trained Before Hitting the Road
Driving a truck – especially a huge tractor-trailer or a tanker truck that carries hazardous or flammable liquids – is not the same as driving a regular passenger car. Some of the most important differences are:
- An increased stopping distance,
- Different blind spots,
- An increased turning radius,
- The potential for a jackknife, and
- Avoiding a rollover when turning sharply.
Many of these differences require an entirely different mindset behind the wheel. Truck drivers need to conquer instinctual reactions that can avoid a crash as if they were driving a car, but that will only make a crash far worse now that they are driving a truck.
For example, when a deer jumps in front of a car, many drivers will instinctively swerve to avoid a collision. However, when the driver is in charge of a truck, veering to avoid the crash comes with a high likelihood of overturning the truck – consequences far worse than a collision with the deer that is barely going to damage the truck at all.
Getting a trucker to make those split-second decisions correctly takes plenty of training. That is why there are numerous truck driving programs and why drivers have to get a special kind of driver's license (a CDL, or Commercial Drivers License) to become a truck driver.
Trucking Companies Often Neglect Training Their Drivers
All of that time that it takes to adequately train someone to drive a truck, though, comes at the expense of a trucking company's profits. They want their drivers to get behind the wheel and haul cargo as quickly as possible. In some cases, they push their drivers onto the road before they are actually ready, insisting that the drivers will “learn on the road.”
The result puts innocent drivers and passengers that share the highway with huge trucks at serious risk. Truckers without a full understanding of how to react to hazards and certain dangerous situations can make the wrong decision at a crucial moment and cause a crash that can hurt or kill innocent people.
Holding Trucking Companies Liable for Improperly Training Their Drivers
There are two distinct situations where trucking companies can improperly train their truck drivers:
- They hired an inexperienced or unlicensed trucker with the intent to train them to drive a truck, but then did not follow through on the training, or
- They hired a trucker with a suspect safety record and did not take appropriate steps to make sure they would drive safely.
In either case, the trucking company could be held responsible for a crash that was caused by their driver's poor decision or unsafe driving. Through the legal concept of employer liability, the responsibility of the crash would extend through the driver who actually caused the crash and reach to the employer who put the driver in a position where a crash was far more likely to occur than acceptable.
In the first situation, the trucking company could be held liable for the crash because it negligently or improperly trained the driver. That poor training was a foreseeable cause of the crash because it left the driver unprepared for a driving situation that they should have been able to handle.
In the second situation, though, the trucking company could be liable because it negligently hired a driver and then did not take adequate steps to correct a problematic driving history. In these cases, the trucking company would have been on notice that specific elements of training had to be provided, but failed to do it. In either situation, an experienced attorney can obtain, in litigation, the driver qualification file that can show the driver's experience and training to operate a commercial vehicle.
Truck Accident Lawyers at the Hadden Law Firm Serve Victims in Georgia
Improperly trained truck drivers are a serious danger to the people who have to share the roads with them. When they cause a crash and hurt an innocent driver or passenger, the trucking company that allowed the risk to develop should be held responsible. The Hadden Law Firm does just that in Georgia. Contact them online if you or a loved one has been hurt.