The disruption of the supply chain over the past couple of years is getting increased attention as the holidays approach and businesses have largely reopened. Some ports are running 24/7 to get goods off ships and on the road.
Trucking companies are desperate for drivers to handle the goods coming out of these ports. That means they need to replace the drivers who recently retired or left the industry. Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) has increased, and many of these trainees are very young – some as young as high school-age or barely older.
The new federal rule
Concerns over just how much training these new drivers are getting as they obtain their commercial driver’s license (CDL) and get on the road has led to a new federal rule that will take effect on Feb. 7, 2022. The ELDT rule will place new requirements on anyone obtaining or upgrading a CDL. These new requirements include the following:
- A training program that includes increased theory and behind-the-wheel instruction administered by a provider listed in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) Training Provider Registry
- Minimum CDL requirements set by the federal government rather than individual states
- Stricter requirements for driving instructors
You can bet that there will be a last-minute rush to get as many new CDL applicants trained before the new rule takes effect in a few months. There will be no shortage of aspiring truckers vying to get their training started before then as well.
All of this means that, at least for the near-term future, it’s wise for drivers to be extra cautious as they share the roads with commercial trucks. However, crashes can happen in the blink of an eye. A crash involving a commercial vehicle can present added complications – but also added opportunities to seek compensation to cover serious injuries and long-term medical needs.
A truck driver, their employer and/or the truck manufacturer may bear some responsibility and liability. That’s why it’s crucial to have experienced legal guidance as you work to obtain the compensation you need and deserve.