Truck driver training increases focus on safety

Ohio motorists rely on everyone driving safely, including those behind the wheel of commercial trucks. When accidents include big rigs that weigh 80,000 pounds, the damage and injuries can be severe. For this reason, truck driver training programs have made safe driving a higher priority than the past. A community college instructor with over 10 years of truck driving experience said that a typical tractor-trailer needs the length of two football fields to stop in dry road conditions. He said that truck driver training failed to focus on safety in the past.

Now, the eight-week program that he teaches exposes future drivers to many road conditions and scenarios. Students use simulation technology just like airline pilots to feel what it is like to drive in rain and snow or during the day or night. Their 320 hours of classroom work includes map training, log book exercises and testing on government regulations. They are taught to constantly scan ahead for threats like a car that might cut them off in traffic.

Better training could prevent serious multiple vehicle accidents like a 45-car pileup witnessed by one woman. She said that a semi jackknifed when it tried to avoid a slow vehicle and then a chain reaction of accidents resulted. That pileup sent eight people to the hospital.

A victim of a truck accident might have multiple factors to consider when pursuing a personal injury claim. An attorney who litigates commercial vehicle accidents could manage the details of investigating the accident, communicating a claim to the trucking company's insurer and filing a lawsuit if necessary. An attorney might need to look into the truck's maintenance history and the driver's log book hours. Violations of trucking regulations could support the victim's claims of negligence.

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