Teamsters Sue Government for Better Trucker Safety Training

As reported by the New York Times, the Teamsters union and safety advocates have sued the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration seeking the implementation of long-overdue improved training requirements for commercial truck drivers.

Advocates of the new requirements say they’re needed because truckers can now be licensed to operate big rigs after only 10 hours of classroom instruction.

While automobile fatalities in the US have declined in recent years, deaths and serious injuries caused by accidents involving large trucks are increasing.

Truck-related fatalities increased 4% in 2012, and injuries increased 18%.

Overall, 4,000 deaths and about 70,000 injuries in 2012 were caused by accidents involving large trucks.About 200,000 large truck accidents cause property damage but no injuries.

Although semi-trucks represent only 2% of the vehicles on the roads, they cause 8% of all highway accidents.In part, this may be because trucks are so much larger and heavier than cars.When a truck collides with a car, the result is likely to be far more serious than a “fender bender.”

However, many blame poor trucker training for many of the accidents.

The Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI) sets the standards for truck driving training courses that meet Federal Highway Administration (FHA) and trucking industry standards.Many employers of truck drivers will only accept those trained in programs that are approved by the PTDI.

Truck drivers can be licensed in many states after passing a written test and driving around a parking lot for only 10 minutes.

The US Congress ordered the US Transportation Department to come up with stricter training requirements in 1993, but the Transportation Department still has not done so.The order was repeated in safety legislation passed in 2012.

If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a truck or another motor vehicle, or if a family member has been injured or killed in an accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney at the New Jersey Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Hasson, P.C. for help.

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