Trucking companies have a duty under Florida and federal regulations to make sure a potential truck driver is “qualified” according to very specific criteria, such as having a valid commercial motor vehicle driver’s license (CDL), the ability to safely operate the tractor trailer and completion of a driver’s road test that examines safe driving techniques. The driver’s past driving record is also to be particularly scrutinized for a history of traffic violations, not just in the drivers home state, but in each and every state in the country. The truck driver (employee) must also be familiar with the use of emergency equipment and make pre-trip inspections.
The hiring tucking company must also perform a drug and alcohol test on the potential driver before he or she is actually hired. Once the driver is hired, the duty of the trucking company continues. Specifically, the semi truck or commercial vehicle driver must submit, within a certain period of time, to drug and alcohol testing when the driver has been in an accident involving injury or fatality or when the company suspects the driver has been using drugs or alcohol while on duty. Similarly, every year the employer trucking company must randomly test 10 percent of its drivers for alcohol and 50% for drugs.
Federal and Florida regulations also require trucking companies to annually review each of their truck driver’s driving record. Specifically, they must check for any violations of motor vehicle traffic laws from the previous twelve (12) months to determine whether or not they suspect the employee is a bad truck driver.
What makes matters worse is when a trucking company knows it has a bad truck driver yet continues to employ the driver year after year in blatant disregard for the safety of other motorists. This unfortunately is at the root of many of the tuck accident cases we see. The trucking company will sometimes simply not perform due diligence in inquiring into the qualifications of its drivers and therefore circumvent the requirements of both state and federal regulations. Remember these regulations are there to protect society. Similarly, sometimes the trucking company simply does not have the proper staff in place to perform all of the necessary inquires of their drivers as required by state and federal law. Reasons for such negligent behavior include, but are not limited to: cost cutting, improper training, understaffing, or a genuine unwillingness to comply with the regulations designed to protect us all.
When the Law Office of Timothy Armstrong, P.A. begins working on a truck accident case, we systematically investigate the complete records of the at fault truck driver and the at fault trucking company. We will find out if the driver has a drug or alcohol problem and whether the trucking company knew of this problem. The firm will find out of the trucking company annually reviewed the driving record of their employee. The firm will find out if the trucking company skirted the rules or was negligent in their background check of their negligent truck driver. We have the skill and experience to fully investigate and prosecute your trucking accident case against all negligent parties.
If you have been involved in a trucking accident or commercial vehicle accident call The Law Office of Timothy Armstrong, P.A. first for experienced and compassionate trucking accident representation.
We can be reached twenty-four hours a day at 904-356-8618. In the alternative, contact us in the email dialogue box on this page and tell us about your case. All consultations are FREE. Similarly, if you cannot come to our firm we will come to you.