An estimated 16 million big-rig trucks traverse U.S. roads, hauling cargo and supplies to businesses and consumers. While driving on our highways, you encounter many of these trucks that weigh several tons. It makes you wonder just what type of person chooses to drive these colossal vehicles, how long they have been behind the wheel and whether you should be concerned.
Well, throughout the country, there seems to be a labor shortage and this scenario also has struck the long-haul trucking industry. As a result, Congress now considers allowing people as young as 18 to serve as long-haul truck drivers. Now, you really want to know how safe you and your family are on the road with inexperienced truck drivers behind the wheel.
Turning too sharply, speeding
Having a background check and completing courses in a commercial driving school is not enough to transform a student truck driver into an experienced one. And much of this schooling takes place in the classroom and not behind the wheel.
That behind-the-wheel experience is essential, and trucking companies know it. In ideal scenarios, they would team a novice driver with an experienced one before setting the former loose on his or her own.
However, inexperienced trucks drivers may endanger other motorists by making some of these mistakes:
- Turning too sharply or too quickly. Such action may lead to a collision with another vehicle or cause a truck’s trailer to overturn.
- Speeding or driving too fast for roadway conditions. Sometimes, new truckers ignore safe speed signs for on/off ramps, potentially leading to a serious roadway accident.
- Unfamiliarity with the roadway and area. This can lead to getting lost, panicking and making poor driving decisions. It also may lead to a collision if a truck driver does not know the nuances of the road.
- Neglecting to adjust to disruptions in the traffic flow due to congestion or a motor vehicle accident that occurred earlier. This can lead to a new driver causing a crash.
- Just because a person drives a large truck does not make him or her a good one. Cockiness may lead to flouting traffic laws and danger. This is among the reasons an experienced truck driver must take a novice one under his or her wing.
In time, an inexperienced truck driver evolves into an experienced one. But remember, rookie mistakes happen. And when you are traveling on the road, you likely cannot discern between an experienced trucker and an inexperienced one. This is why any motorist must take great care when sharing the roads with big-rig trucks.