In light of the recent $90 million verdict against trucking company, Werner Enterprises, it’s time we ask: Are trucking companies doing enough to train their drivers and keep the roads safe? In John Jose’s Law360 article he addresses the massive issue of trucking companies allowing student drivers to take the wheel of commercial trucks with insufficient training.
In the lawsuit against Werner Enterprises, a student driver was alone and behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler during black ice conditions, when the driver skidded into oncoming traffic and crashed into a car, killing one child and seriously injuring several other passengers.
Jose points out that this is not the only instance a trucking company has allowed a student driver to take the wheel with insufficient training, however, companies are getting away with it under the guise of the “team driving” method. According to Jose, there is a severe shortage of qualified drivers due to poor working conditions and extremely long hours, but the demand for over-the-road deliveries is on the rise. As a result, companies are pushing student drivers out onto the road without the required amount of training hours logged in order to meet their tight deadlines.
Jose adds that this practice needs to be brought to the public’s attention, and regulations need to be put in place to stop this dangerous practice, or there will be many more lawsuits like Werner in the future.
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