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Inexperienced and Undertrained Trucker Contribute to Tractor Trailer Accidents

The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that nearly 120,000 large commercial trucks were involved in motor vehicle collisions in the United States in 2021 alone. Given the large size of tractor trailers—they can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds in California—it is imperative that these vehicles are operated safely. Among other things, that means proper truckers need to be properly trained. Inexperienced truckers are more likely to end up in a crash. Here, our Stockton semi-truck accident lawyer discuss the risk posed by inexperienced or undertrained truckers 

Know the Data: Inexperienced Truckers More Likely to Cause Crashes

Recent studies have underscored a concerning correlation between inexperienced truck drivers and an increased likelihood of road accidents.The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) cites data showing that truck drivers who are within their first five years of holding a commercial driver’s license (CDL) are approximately 50 percent more likely to end up in a crash. Unfortunately, inexperienced and/or undertrained truckers are simply more likely to make critical errors that lead to accidents. The research highlights the urgent need for comprehensive training. 

Why Trucker Training So Important (Inexperienced Drivers Make Mistakes)

The importance of thorough trucker training cannot be overstated—especially when considering the significant risks associated with inexperienced drivers behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle. The reality is that a significant number of commercial truck accidents could have been prevented with due care. Here are some of the most common reasons why inexperienced and/or undertrained truckers end of contributing to collisions: 

  • Poor Space Management: New truckers often struggle with judging distances and managing the space around their very large vehicle effectively. It is an issue that can lead to unsafe lane changes, tailgating, and difficulties in maneuvering tighter spaces.  
  • Inadequate Speed Control: Driving too fast for road conditions is dangerous—and truckers do not always do it on purpose. Inexperienced drivers may not adjust their speed appropriately for highway conditions, curves, and weather changes. 
  • Misjudging Weather Conditions: Lack of experience can result in failing to adjust driving techniques in adverse weather conditions like rain, snow, or fog. An undertrained trucker  may drive too fast or not leave enough stopping distance on a slippery road. 
  • Insufficient Rest (Fatigued Driving): New truckers often underestimate the importance of rest, leading to driving while fatigued. Fatigue greatly impairs decision-making abilities and reaction times. Nearly 1 in 10 U.S. truck accidents are caused, in part, by fatigued driving. 
  • Improper Load Securing: Ensuring cargo is securely fastened is crucial in preventing accidents. Inexperienced drivers may not properly secure their load. There could be shifts in weight while driving that can cause loss of control. 

Trucking Companies are Responsible for Ensuring Drivers are Properly Trained

A trucking company should always ensure that it puts safe, reliable drivers on the road. Indeed, the large trucking companies bear a significant responsibility in ensuring that their drivers are adequately trained before they get behind the wheel. In California, this involves not just meeting minimum legal requirements for training—such as having a valid CDL—but also investing in ongoing education and skill development. Comprehensive training programs should cover a wide range of topics, including things like: 

  • Vehicle operation; 
  • Safety protocols; 
  • Emergency response techniques; and 
  • Compliance with regulations. 

By prioritizing the training and development of their drivers, trucking companies not only reduce the risk of accidents but also contribute to a culture of safety within the industry. What happens if an inexperienced or undertrained trucker causes an accident through their negligence in California? The trucking company may bear legal liability for the resulting damages. California is a fault-based motor vehicle accident state—including for semi-truck accidents. A trucker and/or trucking company whose negligence contributed to a crash can be held liable.

Every Commercial Truck Accident Requires a Thorough Investigation 

Following any commercial truck accident in San Joaquin County, a comprehensive and detail-focused is a must. You cannot rely on the trucking company itself or any insurance company to conduct a fair and impartial investigation. Your lawyer can make the difference. To be clear, the investigation should look beyond the immediate factors of the crash to examine driver behavior, vehicle conditions, and compliance with safety regulations. 

By analyzing data from the vehicle’s electronic logging device, reviewing driver training records, and inspecting the truck’s maintenance history, investigators—including the victim’s attorney—can identify potential issues such as driver fatigue, mechanical failures, and any other lapses in safety practices. These findings can be crucial for proving liability. Remember, only when liability is established with a truck accident victim be in a position to maximize their compensation. 

Recovering Compensation for a Crash Caused By an Inexperienced Truck Driver

Hurt in a semi-truck accident that you believe was caused by an inexperienced or undertrained trucker? It is imperative that you are able to secure the full and fair financial compensation for your damages, including for both economic losses and non-economic losses. Sadly, big truck companies and their commercial insurance carriers fight hard to pay out as little as possible to injured victims. Our firm fights hard to ensure that truck accident victims in Stockton are able to secure the maximum settlement or jury verdict. You may be able to recover damages for: 

  • Vehicle repairs; 
  • Ambulance costs; 
  • Emergency room care; 
  • Hospital bills; 
  • Other medical costs; 
  • Lost wages; 
  • Loss of earning power; 
  • Pain and suffering; 
  • Mental anguish; 
  • Long-term disability; and 
  • Wrongful death. 

Schedule a Free Case Review With Our Stockton, CA Large Truck Crash Lawyer Today

At Redkey Gordon Law Corp, our Stockton tractor trailer crash lawyer is standing by, ready to protect your rights and your interests. If you or your family member was hurt in a crash with an inexperienced and undertrained truck driver, we are here to help. Reach out to us by phone or contact directly online for your free, no commitment initial consultation. With an office in Stockton, we handle truck accident cases throughout the region, including in Lodi, Manteca, and Sacramento.