CDL and Smith System of Defensive Driving: A Combination New Mexico Truck Drivers Need to Do to Save Everyone Else’s Lives
All too often we hear about a trucking accident where multiple people are seriously injured, paralyzed, or killed, but the truck driver walks away without a scratch. This is partially because truck drivers sit in a large cabin which is higher off the ground and surrounded by a large steel compartment. However, this is also do to the fact that many trucking companies teach truck drivers certain maneuvers or train drivers how to react in high risk situations to save their lives—not necessarily the lives of others on or near the roadway.
For instance, a common example is where a truck is unable to stop in time and the driver is trained to just rear end the other vehicle instead of trying to steer away aggressively and possible jackknife or flip and kill more people including the driver.
Training like this is reactionary and results in the death of many people on or near the roadway. One such instance is the case being tried by the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., wherein the passenger was killed when three large commercial trucks continued full speed through a dust storm and rear ended several passenger vehicles. There was a large explosion and a fire which killed seven passengers who burned to death. None of the truck drivers were injured.
Truck Driver Training Needs to be Precautionary before it needs to be Reactionary to SAVE LIVES
Training needs to be precautionary and preemptive. Meaning, training needs to prevent truck drivers from being in the position where they will have to choose between jackknifing and rear ending an innocent individual. That way truck drivers will never have to choose between life and death situations where they place their lives about the lives of others.
A commercial driver license, or CDL, requires an extensive amount of testing and training before it can be earned pursuant to federal regulations and requirements. This includes a test to obtain a commercial learner’s permit, or CLP, and training with an experienced CDL driver before taking the road skills test. Once passing the road skills test, a CDL applicant will have to submit a 10 year driver’s history to ensure safe driving. An applicant will also have to certify his or her medical condition and ability to drive. A further knowledge test is required and the applicant must score more than 80%. There is also another tests skills for the specific vehicle that the CDL applicant is going to operate is also required. These tests and requirements all ensure that a CDL applicant is driving safe and understands the responsibility of his or her vehicle.
Even after receiving a CDL, truck drivers should also take, understand, and utilize the Smith System of Defensive Driving which we recently discussed on our last blog post. This system provides preventative and precautionary conduct which helps keep others safe while on the roads. This includes the following:
- Aim High in Steering – View further down the road, not just what is immediately in front of you;
- Stay Alert of Your Surroundings and Look at the Big Picture of the Road – View the entire roadway, including way ahead of you, behind, and to your sides;
- Keep Your Eyes Constantly Moving – Don’t zone out and keep moving and analyzing hazards with your eyes constantly scanning;
- Leave Yourself an Out – Always have a lane or area to stop, swerve to, or slow down in if you are presented with an immediate hazard—don’t get boxed in; and
- Make Sure Other Motorists See You – Most accidents occur when another driver does not see you, so always make sure other motorists see you and know where you are at all times.
Following the Training and Knowledge from the CDL Application Process and the Smith System of Defensive Driver Will Safe the Lives of All Others on the Roadway
If a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a New Mexico trucking accident, contact the experienced trucking accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. today by dialing (505) 883-5000. You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.