Do Russian Drivers Pose a Bigger Truck Accident Risk?

Time magazine is asking an impertinent question-do the large numbers of Russian drivers that have joined the American trucking industry, pose a serious trucking safety threat?

It’s a question that’s laced with plenty of innuendo, and it’s not likely to please Americans of Russian origin.  Basically, Time is tracing the influx of Russian truck drivers into the American trucking industry and asking whether these drivers’ limited knowledge of English affects their trucking abilities.

There shouldn’t be any question about the fact that a working knowledge of English is important for a trucker to be able to efficiently operate his truck.  You must be able to read traffic and highway safety signs in English and decipher these.  You must be able to communicate with officers at a checkpoint if you’re pulled over for an inspection.  You must be able to answer any questions that the officers have.  You must know enough English to legally obtain your Commercial Drivers License.  You must be able to speak enough English to understand trucking safety rules as laid out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and as explained by your employer.

There is no debate in any of this.  However, we wouldn’t physically single out Russian drivers here.  Anytime there’s any foreign-born truck driver with a limited knowledge of English at the wheel of a truck, there is reason to be concerned.  This isn’t about xenophobia or racism, as much as it is about wanting a competent, professional, English-speaking, safe truck driver at the wheel of a big rig.

The Houston truck accident lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers represent injured victims of commercial truck accidents in Houston, Texas and nationwide.