License abuses may contribute to truck accidents

Driving on a busy Alabama highway should require a driver’s full attention to be on traffic flow and road conditions. Yet is that a realistic expectation?

In the case of 18-wheelers, big rigs or other types of tractor-trailers, drivers might be under pressure to meet delivery deadlines. That haste may translate into a variety of unsafe commercial driving habits, such as fatigue, distraction, poorly loaded cargo, inadequate maintenance or even drug or alcohol abuse. 

Notably, lawmakers have passed a variety of regulations to help improve safety on America’s highways and roads, which are shared by commercial and non-commercial vehicles. Specifically, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration oversees the licensing of commercial driver’s licenses. CDL applicants must pass separate tests reflecting the additional skills and knowledge required to operate commercial vehicles.

In addition, FMCSA inspectors rate companies on their compliance with applicable safety regulations. Failure to receive a satisfactory rating may result in a company’s fleet being ordered out of service.

Despite such sanctions, a recent story confirms that abuses persist across the country. In one example, a company owner falsified previous unsatisfactory safety ratings on her company’s application for an operating certificate. In another case, a third-party examiner admitted to accepting cash bribes from CDL applicants in exchange for falsified skill and/or knowledge test results. Yet another case involved an applicant who falsified his medical information in a CDL application.

Unfortunately, when a large truck has an accident with a smaller car or motorcycle, size generally determines who will suffer the most serious injuries. When a trucking accident has occurred, a personal injury law firm with experience in trucking litigation can help protect your rights.

Source: Overdrive, “Trucking rap sheet: Another CDL test scheme, driver forges med cert,” Matt Cole, June 16, 2016

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