Unqualified Truck Drivers Pose a Threat to Motorists
In order to legally drive a commercial vehicle such as a semi-truck or bus in the United States, you must hold a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL).1 Moreover, there are three different classes of CDL and you must have the correct one for the type of vehicle you are driving. For example, if you have a basic CDL and can drive a tractor-trailer, it does not mean that you can lawfully drive a truck transporting hazardous materials. This is because different classes of CDL require different amounts of particularized training.
While it may seem like common sense that anyone trying to drive a commercial truck should have a CDL, unqualified truck drivers are a significant problem in the trucking industry. These drivers find themselves on the roads behind the wheel of a truck in a variety of situations and pose a serious threat of causing accident and injuries because of their lack of proper training. If you are injured by a driver who does not have a valid CDL, the truck accident lawyers at the Dolman Law Group can help you recover.
How do unqualified drivers get on the roads?
There are numerous ways that unqualified drivers can find themselves behind the wheel of a commercial truck, including the following:
– Cheating on the exam – While it may seem surprising that some people cheat on their CDL test, there have been many schemes2 that have allowed numerous people to wrongfully pass the written portion of the exam and receive undeserved CDLs. There are likely hundreds of truck drivers on the roads who did not rightfully pass their tests and may not have the adequate knowledge to safely operate a commercial vehicle.
– Falsifying medical records – In order to receive a CDL, a truck driver must pass a medical exam to ensure they are healthy enough to drive a truck and do not have any high-risk conditions such as heart disease or epilepsy. Some individuals have had their doctors sign off on false evaluations or have even completely fabricated the records in order to pass the medical test and wrongfully receive a license despite medical issues.
– Wrongful hiring practices – Trucking companies are required to only hire qualified, properly licensed drivers. However, some companies have been known to hire family members or friends who have not passed the CDL test as a favor or for cheaper labor. Additionally, a company may allow a driver with a CDL to operate a certain type of vehicle for which he is not properly trained. Some trucking companies also fail to perform the required background checks on every driver which can lead to the hiring of an individual with a history of alcohol-related driving offenses or other similarly dangerous convictions.
These are only some of the ways that unqualified truck drivers can be on the roads. However, no matter how the driver managed to get behind the wheel, driving a commercial truck without a proper license is extremely dangerous and can cause serious injuries. Victims of accidents caused by unqualified drivers deserve to recover for all of their injury-related losses and possibly more by filing a personal injury claim against the responsible party.
Contact the Dolman Law Group today to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced Clearwater truck accident attorney
Unqualified truck drivers put everyone around them at risk. Individuals who operate vehicles which they are not qualified to drive can cause serious accidents that may result in equally serious injuries. In addition, trucking companies have a duty to ensure that the drivers they hire meet the minimum state and federal requirements and are able to safely operate their vehicles. When unqualified drivers injure innocent motorists, bicyclists, or pedestrians in a traffic accident, victims can often recover by filing a Florida personal injury claim. The best way to determine whether you will be able to recover after a Clearwater truck accident is to discuss your options with an experienced truck accident attorney. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call the Dolman Law Group today at (727) 451-6900.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756