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Were You Injured by an Unqualified Truck Driver?

By Jason Bottlinger on August 1, 2022

A fully loaded big rig truck weighs up to 30 times more than a car. When a negligent truck driver crashes into a car, it does serious damage. In a recent year there were 350 crashes in Nebraska involving big rig trucks that resulted in 23 fatalities.

A truck driver needs to be alert at all times, and they must be fully qualified. Trucking companies that try to save money by hiring unqualified drivers or continue to employ drivers with poor records endanger the lives of everyone on the road.

Trucking companies must be diligent about checking the backgrounds of everyone they hire, and they must also continue to make sure all their drivers stay safe and sober when they’re on the road.

How to Become a Commercial Truck Driver in Nebraska

Drivers need to have special skills and experience to safely maneuver a big rig truck. To get a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in Nebraska, a driver must meet the following criteria:

  • Pass a written test
  • Pass a road skills test that includes pre-trip inspection, basic control skills, and a road driving test
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Proof of US Citizenship
  • Meet medical requirements designated by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
  • Prove citizenship in the state of Nebraska
  • Have permission to work in the United States
  • Have a valid driver’s license
  • No convictions for disqualifying driving offenses
  • Meet vison, hearing, and health requirements

What Drivers Learn in Trucking School

Many states require drivers to complete a truck driving course to apply for a CDL. And insurance carriers usually expect companies to only hire drivers who have completed a truck driving course.

The trucking industry is regulated by state laws and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA). The FMSCA sets the baseline for training requirements of entry-level drivers. Truck driving courses include both classroom instruction and behind-the-wheel training.

There are three types of verification for trucking schools: licensed, certified, and accredited:

  • Licensed truck driving schools have been reviewed by a state agency to meet the state’s minimum requirements.
  • Certified truck driving schools are reviewed by a third party that evaluates schools based on industry standards.
  • Accredited truck driving schools have been fully vetted by the U.S. Department of Educations to meet federal standards.

Drivers learn essential skills in trucking school, including:

  • Proper loading techniques
  • EPA and hazardous waste rules
  • When to yield
  • Avoiding accidents
  • Tire safety
  • Driving in inclement weather
  • Keeping proper vehicle distance
  • Using mirrors correctly
  • Blind spot awareness
  • Safe lane changing procedures
  • Distracted driving laws
  • Night driving
  • Making wide turns
  • Proper braking techniques

What Trucking Companies Must Do to Keep You Safe

Many trucking companies cut corners to try to save money. And when they aren’t willing to pay wages high enough to attract qualified drivers, they will often hire unqualified drivers instead.  This can have catastrophic consequences for motorists and their passengers.

To maintain a safe fleet, tucking companies must take the following precautions:

  1. Do a full background check before hiring by making sure drivers have a valid and current CDL and the proper training. They should also check with previous employers to make sure the drivers don’t have a history of unsafe driving.
  2. Update records by requiring drivers to periodically supply DMV readouts that include all driving infractions such as speeding and DUIs, whether committed on the job or not.
  3. Monitor and train drivers by requiring periodic drug and alcohol tests, investigating truck driver accidents, and providing additional safety training to their drivers.

Were You Harmed by a Careless Truck Driver in Omaha?

If a careless truck driver harmed you or a loved one, you shouldn’t have to pay for your own medical expenses. At Bottlinger Law, L.L.C., our legal team will investigate your Omaha truck accident and file a claim against the negligent driver’s insurance companies to help you get the money you need.

Bottlinger Law, L.L.C has a perfect A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau of Nebraska. Call (402) 505-8234 to learn more by speaking with an Omaha truck accident lawyer. At Bottlinger Law, L.L.C., you won’t pay anything unless we win your case.

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Posted in: Truck Accidents

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