Driving a large commercial truck, whether it’s a tractor-trailer, a tanker, or any other similar vehicle, requires substantial training. Trucks handle considerably differently than most other automotive vehicles, and there are a number of unique factors which truck drivers must be made aware of in order to ensure that they can operate safely on the road.
Trucking companies, therefore, have an important responsibility in ensuring that their workers are trained properly before allowing them to start driving. The unfortunate truth, however, is that far too many trucking companies fail to take the necessary precautions when they hire and train new drivers, allowing those who may not be fully prepared to get behind the wheel.
A tragic illustration of this fact can be found in a case out of Texas. In 2011, Daniel Rhodes was struck and killed by a large commercial truck, the driver of which was attempting to return to the road after another vehicle had forced him off. According to arguments made by the attorney Jim Hart, who represented Rhodes’ surviving family in a wrongful death suit against the companies employing the driver, with appropriate training, the driver would have known not to attempt to get back on the road in that type of situation.
Hart, along with other counsel from his firm Williams Kherkher, was able to recover damages of approximately $11 million for his clients in their suit. However, if the companies had simply made the choice to ensure that their drivers were properly instructed, this tragic situation could likely have been avoided entirely.