Everyone must meet some standards when applying for a job, but a select number of occupations are certainly more regulated than others—and truck driving is among those jobs.
Many people don't realize the stringent qualifications that truck drivers must meet, instead thinking, "They're just driving a truck—how tough can it be?" The answer: pretty tough! Driving a truck safely can be extremely difficult and because of that, the types of people allowed to jump behind the wheel are highly monitored. There are already thousands of truck accidents every year. Can you imagine how much worse it would be if they let just anyone drive an 80,000-pound weapon at 75 miles per hour down a major highway?
When truck companies are hiring new drivers, there are certain standards applicants must meet:
- They must hold a Commercial Driver's License (CDL). You cannot drive an 18-wheeler with a normal state driver's license; truck drivers must obtain a CDL to drive legally. To get a CDL, individuals must pass various knowledge tests, depending on the types of vehicles they intend on driving. These knowledge tests can include examinations for general knowledge, air brakes, combination vehicles, hazardous materials and double/triple trailers. There are also basic skill tests, including a pre-trip vehicle inspection, basic vehicle control and on-road driving. In addition to knowledge and skills, the driver must also meet physical requirements, age limits, and other regulations as well.
- Applicants must meet federal minimum standards. Along with having a CDL, there are government requirements associated with becoming a truck driver. You must be at least 21 years old, be able to read and understand English, be physically able to operate a commercial vehicle, and not be disqualified by other federal restrictions.
- Applicants must also pass an employment screening check. Even after someone has a CDL and meets the government’s minimum standards, a trucking company will go even further to qualify an individual. They perform various background checks, looking into the driver's accident history, driving record, and past or current issues with drugs or alcohol.
It's amazing to think that with even all of these stringent requirements, truck accidents still happen on Connecticut roadways all the time. There are so many other factors that can contribute to an accident that even if someone is closely screened before operating a commercial motor vehicle, serious mishaps are still more than possible.
If you have been injured in a Connecticut truck accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at the Bartinik Law Firm, P.C., in Groton for a free consultation by calling 860-445-8521.