There are hundreds of commercial truck drivers on the road throughout the state of Washington. Unfortunately, not all of them have the experience or training to safely operate their big rigs. That inexperience can lead to accidents that cause injury and death.

In order to drive a commercial truck, drivers must have a commercial driver license. The Department of Licensing for the state of Washington requires an applicant pass a skills test. Taking a training program is mandatory for first-time drivers who hold a commercial learners permit. The applicant certifies themselves on the vehicle class.

There are three different classes of commercial truck. A driver with experience driving a Class A truck may not have that same experience driving a Class B or C truck. The differences in the different classes of trucks can be substantial. Truck weight and size affect the classification and the way the vehicle drives.

The CDL license specifies the class of truck the driver can operate. A Class A CDL is the most comprehensive of the classifications with only a few exceptions. School and passenger buses require special endorsements.

When a driver operates a vehicle beyond their experience, the chance of an accident increases. There is a difference in how a 10,000 lb. truck moves and a 26,000 lb. truck. One pulling a double trailer or a simple dump truck. Each vehicle has special features that can impact safe driving for inexperienced drivers. A driver should only operate a vehicle they have the experience and training to drive.