Truck drivers need to learn more than the average passenger car driver. There are federal rules that commercial drivers must obey and paperwork that must be completed by drivers. Since drivers also drive much heavier machinery and are responsible for some basic inspections and maintenance, they need to learn how to handle many types of tasks on the road. In addition, drivers need to learn a great deal about road safety so that they can avoid trucking collisions in Hollywood and other communities they visit.
The challenge with truck training has traditionally been that road training can only show truck drivers so much. If a driver is training in Hollywood or anywhere in South Florida, for example, it is difficult to teach the driver how to handle driving in snow or on ice – even if a driver will eventually be driving all over North America and needs to know how to deal with winter weather. Some scenarios – such as near-misses – are also difficult to recreate safely.
Can Simulators Help with Driver Training?
One option that some programs now offer is trucker courses that involve road training, classroom learning, and some practical training on a simulator. Simulators are designed to help truck drivers learn how to operate heavy trucks and brush up on their skills. This equipment has three large monitors that represent the windows of a truck as well as a truck seat, pedals, and a steering wheel. Drivers sit at the machine while software shows a variety of situations on the monitors – from heavy traffic to snow to near-collisions. It is then up to the drive to respond with the wheel and the brakes to try to get through the course safely. The monitors will show how the truck “responds” to the trucker’s actions, so that the truck driver can see whether their maneuvers will get them out of a trucking collision or other difficulty.
A simulator can show drivers dozens of possible scenarios on the roads – up to 90 different routes and scenarios on some simulators. There are even mobile simulators being used by state departments of transportation to teach drivers how to stay safe. In some parts of the country, for example, snowplow simulators are transported from one location to another to give snow plow operators and truck drivers a chance to practice driving in snowy or blizzard conditions without having to risk their lives. Mobile units can also be cost-effective, since the same device can be used to train larger numbers of drivers.
Driver under-training is a serious concern in Hollywood, Florida, and the rest of the country, especially when a driver is operating a big rig or tractor trailer carrying flammable fuel or hazardous materials. Being able to offer drivers more intensive training helps keep us all safer on the roads. Simulators can help.
If you have been injured by an under-trained or negligent driver, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free and confidential case review. The legal team at our law firm can listen to your concerns, address your questions, and help you explore your options for compensation and recovery.