Some truckers say ‘more training should be required to drive a semi-truck’

The driver of the semi-truck was driving to a truck stop to rest for a couple of hour before...
The driver of the semi-truck was driving to a truck stop to rest for a couple of hour before leaving again.(Humberto Giles-Sanchez)
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 9:17 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Truck safety advocates lobbied in Congress Monday to push for more guidelines for semi-truck drivers. The efforts come after the Truck Safety Coalition laid out the states with the deadliest truck crashes per capita nationwide in 2020, with South Dakota coming in second.

While the trucking industry is considered the backbone of the U.S .economy by representing 80.4% of the nation’s freight bill in 2020, according to the American Trucking Association, it’s no secret that an industry this big has its ups and downs.

From long work hours to inexperienced drivers, some feel there should be more regulations on these topics. With truckers feeling there should not only be more training but better training as well.

“I see a lot of truckers that are young and aren’t quite as careful as they should be,” said semi-truck driver Todd Lapp “You see a lot of tailgating you see a lot of and pull out to pass another truck when you are driving another half a mile-an-hour longer. So, you are out in the passing lane for 20 miles trying to get around holding up traffic,”

While it is easy to put the blame on younger drivers when it comes to trucking accidents according to a Virginia Tech study, age has nothing to do with it. The study showed that an inexperienced 55-year-old is more likely to be involved in a crash than an inexperienced 25-year-old, but being inexperienced overall increased the crash risk across all age groups.

For some truckers the issue of fatal crashes comes from the long hours some companies set for their drivers, causing problems that can lead to accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 11% of crashes on the highways are from sleep deprivation.

“You know making it easier to get from point A to point B instead of telling you when to sleep and when not to,” said semi-truck driver John Nedonino.

Whether it’s the inexperience of teen to early 20s truck drivers or the tight schedule they have to follow, one thing is clear, something needs to change in order to make truck driving safer.