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What Does a Truck Driver Learn in CDL School?

If you’re like most drivers, at one time or another you have seen a tractor trailer or other large commercial truck exhibit some kind of maneuver whose riskiness took your breath away – or maybe you’ve seen something worse, and actually witnessed a truck accident. Some people believe that truck drivers are extremely knowledgeable and have gone through extensive training in order to be able to get behind the wheel of an enormous truck, while others doubt that truck drivers have completed enough training, and worry that they represent a constant danger. The truth is that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has established national training standards for new truck and bus drivers that are specifically designed to ensure that those holding commercial drivers’ licenses are held to a higher standard.  Unfortunately, this does not mean that all drivers behave according to their training. The truck accident attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers are ready to help if you or someone you love has been injured as a result of negligence caused by a truck driver, the trucking company, or anybody else that may have contributed to the accident taking place.

People who have witnessed erratic or irresponsible truck driver behavior may ask themselves what a truck driver learns in CDL school. Getting a Commercial Drivers’ License has different requirements depending upon what state the license is issued by, but the truth is that there is no requirement that a truck driver actually attend CDL school. These schools exist to provide prospective truck drivers with readiness training that will help them pass the tests established by the federal and state. So while the CDL training school may provide hands-on training with instructors, practice equipment and facilities, and classroom preparation for taking the license exam, none of this is actually necessary.

When a person decides that they want to become a truck driver they simply need to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License. To do that they need to get a copy of their state’s Commercial Driver’s License Manual, decide what type of vehicle and what kind of driving they want a license for, get their Commercial Learners Permit, which authorizes them to practice on public roads with a qualified Commercial Driver’s License holder next to them, and then after 14 days, take the Skills Test. In order to get the permit the driver must pass the knowledge test for the type of driving they want to do and have their driving record checked for the last ten years in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. They also need proof that they are medically qualified, usually provided through a DOT medical card.

After all of these materials are provided and the knowledge and skills test have been passed, it’s a matter of processing the paperwork, with some states providing the license on the very same day.

CDL school provides far more hands on experience and preparation then is required by law, but is still no guarantee that a driver will behave responsibly once they are behind the wheel. The high number of fatalities and injuries that result from truck accidents point to the need for commercial truck drivers to hold themselves to a higher standard. When they fail in this obligation and someone you love is injured, the truck accident lawyers at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers can help.


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