When you share the road with large trucks, it would be comforting to know that the people driving them are skilled professionals with spotless driving records. Even a slight mistake by someone in charge of an 18-wheeler could leave you dead or with devastating injuries.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has just announced it is doing away with its requirement for truck drivers to declare previous traffic violations to employers. It sounds as if that is a bad thing that could lead to more poor quality drivers on the road, but is it?
FREIGHT COMPANIES ARE NOW RESPONSIBLE FOR DRIVER CHECKS
The rule change is less consequential than it seems. The FMCSA says it is removing a duplicated activity to simplify drivers’ lives and save money spent on administration.
The laws already require trucking companies to check driver records once a year. So there is little need for drivers themselves to present a list of their convictions.
HOW MIGHT IT BE BENEFICIAL FOR OTHER ROAD USERS?
The move highlights the responsibility trucking companies bear for their drivers. The firms are the ones who choose who they will or won’t let loose in one of their vehicles. The trucking industry has a shortage of drivers, so firms may be tempted to employ sub-standard candidates to fill the gaps.
If a truck hits you, seek legal help to investigate the driver’s record. If you find that the driver had a string of previous traffic convictions, you can question why the trucking company decided it was safe to employ them.
While your first thought should be in claiming compensation from the driver of the truck, sometimes you can claim against their employer too.