Semi-trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds (compared to about 4,000 pounds for the average vehicle) and often carry heavy or even hazardous cargo. It makes sense that drivers don’t want just anyone behind the wheel of these large and dangerous commercial vehicles. So it’s common to wonder who can be a truck driver and do they have to pass a background check first?
Many employers conduct background checks on job applicants, and trucking companies are no different. Both the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and state laws have specific criteria for who may be eligible to obtain or renew a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The following are some of the requirements for a truck driver background check:
● Driving record - Because we don’t want dangerous drivers behind the wheels of tractor-trailers, all truck drivers must pass a check of their driving record from every state in which they have been licensed in the past three years. While a driving record does not have to be completely clean, certain serious driving violations or numerous violations can disqualify a driver.
● Criminal record - Convictions for driving under the influence (DUI) or certain felony offenses can disqualify a driver, depending on how recent the conviction was and how many convictions are on the record.
● Work history - Trucking companies are required to inquire with an applicant’s past employers to verify the stated employment history and inquire whether the driver was involved in accidents.
● Drug and alcohol checks - Companies should check to see if a driver violated FMCSA drug or alcohol regulations in the past and what actions the driver took since them. Drivers must also pass a pre-employment drug test.
● Medical check - It is dangerous for truck drivers to operate commercial vehicles with certain untreated or serious health conditions. For this reason, applicants for CDLs must obtain a medical certification that they passed a health exam and are healthy enough to drive.
As you can see, the government has regulations and requirements that aim to ensure that all commercial truck drivers have a history of safety before allowing them on the roads. Unfortunately, even with the above requirements, many reckless or unqualified drivers obtain commercial licenses and put other motorists at risk of harm.
What if a Dangerous Truck Driver Crashes into You?
After a crash involving a commercial truck, our truck accident lawyer always looks into a truck driver’s employment records and background checks. In some cases, trucking companies may engage in negligent hiring and allow someone to operate a semi-truck when they should be disqualified due to their driving history or background. In these cases, the trucking company should be held fully liable for any harm caused by the unsafe drivers the company allowed behind the wheel.
Contact a Los Lunas Truck Accident Attorney as Soon as Possible
The Law Firm of David C. Chavez, LLC handles complicated truck accident insurance claims and injury lawsuits. We represent injured truck crash victims and stand up for their rights to insurance companies. Please call 505-865-9696 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your options.