Do Colorado Springs Truck Drivers Receive Enough Training?

Truck Drivers Training

Written by Jeremy D. Earle, JD

January 10, 2023

Are the requirements for a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) sufficient?

To satisfy the requirements of a commercial driver’s license, all truckers must go through many weeks of training. While this may appear to be a reasonable training requirement for operating a commercial truck at first glance, closer examination of the training content and its effectiveness in reducing accidents has prompted some to reconsider how truck drivers obtain the credentials they need to operate their cars.

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Training for Truck Drivers

Prospective truckers must meet various prerequisites in order to get a commercial driver’s license, including:

To train in a commercial car, you must first get a CDL permit. You must pass numerous written examinations as well as a basic eye check to receive one.

There are also a number of CDL “endorsements,” which are specific situation certificates for things like “hazardous materials transport” and “passenger transport.” You must pass the basic CDL written and skill examinations, as well as skill and written tests related to the endorsement, in order to acquire an endorsement.

A CDL driving test must be completed in the state of Colorado, which consists of a two-part exam that includes a knowledge and abilities examination. The state of Colorado may give a CDL license to a driver if they complete the skills exam. Both exams may be taken at a Colorado Department of Driver Services or an authorized third-party testing facility.

In order to achieve these criteria, aspiring truckers would often enroll in a trucking school for three to four weeks of training in order to pass the required examinations for a commercial drivers license.

Is Truck Driver Training Enough to Avoid Truck Accidents?

Despite the extensive training and testing necessary to get a commercial driver’s license, there are still an alarming number of truck accidents in the United States. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 3,986 individuals were died in truck accidents in 2016, demonstrating a consistent upward trend in the mortality rate over the previous several years.

There are many factors that might contribute to a truck accident, including as distractions, exhaustion, and driver mistake, yet the training necessary to operate a trucking rig is believed to be enough to prevent such accidents.

Schools for truck drivers

Following a trucking accident in which the driver appears to be at fault, an investigation is conducted to determine whether the truck driver received adequate training to avoid the negligent behavior that caused the accident and if they met all of the necessary training requirements to operate their car.

These inquiries often lead to the truck driving schools where the careless drivers acquired their education. The U.S. Department of Transportation Proposed Minimum Standards for Training Tractor Trailer Drivers is commonly followed by a truck driving school.

This requires 150 hours of semi-truck fundamentals instruction. A 150-hour externship and 80 hours of advanced training are also required.

When it comes to truck training, cutting corners is a no-no.

Following an accident, an examination of the training quality of a truck driver responsible for the accident should be conducted as soon as possible. What’s more alarming is that there have been a surprising number of situations when trucker training schools and firms have modified documentation to make it seem as though the truckers in issue had far better-looking training records than they really have.

Some schools have been accused of taking shortcuts in training in order to get aspiring truck drivers certified faster. Cutting corners is very harmful for everyone, including the truck driver, since it involves skipping through some subjects, not recording enough hours of practice, and failing to guarantee that the taught content is retained.

Truck drivers want to get their licenses as quickly as possible.

The problem is that many trucking schools simply teach drivers to fulfil the bare minimal criteria in order to achieve the required standards, rather than training them to their full potential so that no one is put in risk.

This is mostly due to the fact that truck drivers have recently been in very high demand. According to the American Truckers Associations (ATA), there is a shortage of 50,000 truck drivers in the United States. Drivers want to go on the road as quickly as possible and start earning money, while training institutes want to have as many truckers qualified as possible.

In fact, many trucking firms will have their own schools where new drivers will be trained as fast and effectively as possible so that they can be on the road and driving as soon as feasible.

Training for truck drivers that is ineffective

To safely drive an 80,000-pound commercial truck travelling at speeds of 70 to 80 miles per hour, sufficient training is essential. In the case of a single error, such a car might do unimaginable quantities of devastation.

Theoretical rather than practical aspects of trucking education are heavily emphasized in trucking schools. The bulk of training takes place in a classroom rather than in a truck cab.

Thousands of novice truckers are on the roads as a result of the flight of baby boomer truckers and the entry of new, inexperienced ones. Most have just spent the bare minimum of time behind the wheel, and not usually on a busy roadway where their abilities would be put to the test.

Shortage of drivers

Truck drivers are in limited supply in the United States. As a result, there are a lot of new drivers on the road. Truck-related deaths are also on the increase (up 11% from 2010 to 2015), with trucking transportation jobs accounting for more work-related fatalities than any other in 2015. When investigating the causes of these accidents, driver training programs have also been called into doubt.

What is the size of the shortage?

According to the American Trucking Associations, there was a 51,000 driver deficit at the start of 2018. This is a considerable rise from only two years ago, when the driver deficit was estimated to be approximately 36,000. The problem is being caused by the shifting economy and popular services like Amazon Prime, which promise speedy delivery.

Employers are providing signing bonuses, pay increases, and other incentives (such as allowing drivers to work from home), but many businesses are concerned that this will not be enough to stem the tide of driver shortages.

In 2017, the median wage for a heavy and tractor-trailer truck driver was $42,480, despite the labor crisis. That’s not a terrible wage for a profession that doesn’t need a college diploma, and many experts predict that by 2020, the figure will be closer to $50,000. However, in industries where demand for drivers much outnumbers supply, a higher salary may be required to attract additional drivers.

Are New Drivers Getting Enough Instruction?

A prospective truck driver may pass the test for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) with only three to four weeks of instruction, in an attempt to get new employees on the road. This may cause some to doubt if formal training is sufficient. Faulty equipment (particularly tires and brakes), distracted driving, driver weariness, and insufficient training are the top causes of truck accidents.

There are excellent and terrible truck driver training schools, just as there are good and bad schools for any other subject. If students require more time in a certain field before taking the test, more renowned ones will let them to remain over the three- to four-week training term. If a candidate fails the CDL exam, some companies may enable them to retrain with them.

Furthermore, there are excellent and terrible truck firms, just as there are in any other sector. Many companies will recruit a new CDL driver and put them through a paid, months-long training program during which they will practice on maneuvers and observe more experienced drivers until they feel ready to go out on their own.

Some colleges and businesses, on the other hand, do not go to these efforts to ensure that a driver is competent to operate a truck before putting him on the road with millions of Americans.

For example, the Colorado Department of Highway Safety and Motor Cars shut down a truck driver school, claiming that the company’s “practices created an imminent substantial threat to…public health, safety, and welfare.”

The inquiry discovered breaches such as neglecting difficult areas of the CDL exam, altering with CDL skills test score sheets, and engaging in fraudulent testing operations. The state required 1,500 grads to retake and pass the CDL exam or risk losing their license.

There are certain to be more “schools” like this, so if you are the victim of a tractor-trailer accident, you must defend yourself and become aware.

Make contact with a skilled Colorado truck accident lawyer.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a commercial truck accident, please call Warrior Truck Accident Lawyers for a free legal consultation. Our skilled attorneys have a proven track record of successfully pursuing claims against irresponsible businesses. Allow our attorneys to help you in obtaining the compensation you are entitled to for any losses you have suffered.

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