New rule could help keep certain truck drivers off of the road

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regularly announces new rules that require the trucking industry to make significant changes to improve safety. One major change that has went into effect recently concerns the amount of hours that truck drivers are allowed to be behind the wheel in each week.

The agency is constantly taking steps to prevent deadly trucking accidents from occurring on roadways throughout the country. In addition to the hours-of-service rules, the FMCSA has also proposed a rule that would create a database that employers could search to learn if new applicants and existing drivers had complied with all requirements concerning screening for alcohol and drug use.

When a company hires a new driver, the company itself will often institute an alcohol or drug test to ensure that the person being hired is qualified for the position. However, the companies have no way to determine if these individuals have failed tests in the past, meaning that drivers who have abused alcohol and drugs could potentially be placed back behind the wheel. The new database would allow employers to look up individuals to determine if any failed tests are present in their history, or if they had refused tests in the past.

The rule would also require companies to test its current employees annually to check for alcohol or drug use. This would be in addition to random roadside inspections that some drivers will face while on duty. The FMCSA wants to increase its ability to find drivers who have substance abuse problems. If drivers refuse to subject to these screening measures, they would not be allowed to operate a vehicle for the company.

The injuries in these accidents are often extremely serious, and leave many victims struggling financially while they are trying to return to health. The insurance companies may try to take advantage of the injured parties, and make settlement offers to those individuals who desperately need money at this time. You need to be sure that all of your injuries have been diagnosed, and that you are fully informed about the costs of your treatment before you accept an offer to resolve your case.

If you have been injured in a trucking accident caused by a fatigued or impaired driver, you should speak to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in your area to begin preparing your claims. Your attorney will know what types of compensation may be available to you, and help you recover damages from the drivers and companies that caused the crash.