New pre-hire process for commercial drivers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is preparing to initiate a new set of pre-hire requirements for commercial drivers in 2016.

When a drunk driving accident happens, the results are often catastrophic. These accidents which should be avoidable by responsible behavior claim many lives and cause numerous injuries for New York residents every year. When a drunk driver is operating a semi-truck or other very large commercial motor vehicle, the opportunity for serious consequences to victims can be even greater than with smaller vehicles. These trucks are extremely heavy and have a terrible impact when they collide with typical passenger vehicles.

Data collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives a glimpse of the severity of this problem. In 2010, 43 of the impaired drivers in all fatal drunk driving crashes were driving large trucks. The very next year, that number climbed to 80 drivers.

These numbers are part of the reason that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is revamping its pre-hire screening process for truckers and other operators of commercial vehicles.

What are some features of the new pre-hire screening process?

When a commercial vehicle driver applies for a position, the potential employer will be required to review the person's records in a new database. The Commercial Carrier Journal indicates that the FMCSA is developing this database now and intends to have it completed in the early portion of next year. This will provide details about a driver's substance screening and other related items.

Job applicants will be required to undergo drug and alcohol testing to be eligible for driving positions. The employer will have to submit the test results to the database and they will become part of applicants' records. Any applicant who refuses testing will only be able to work in jobs that do not require the driving of commercial vehicles.

It is also important to note that once they have successfully hired drivers, employers will still need to review the database records once per year.

The database and screening process will focus on both drugs and alcohol as both can cause impairment. The Food and Drug Administration notes this with its current effort to work with pharmaceutical manufacturers to find ways to delineate which medications are likely to leave drivers impaired.

Help for accident victims

Victims and loved ones of victims involved in drunk driving accidents caused by commercial drivers deserve compensation. Talking to an attorney as soon as possible after these types of accidents is recommended as a means to obtaining the right help.

Keywords: truck, accident, injury