Can truck drivers still hold a license after multiple accidents? It’s a question that not only truck drivers and prospective truck drivers have, but the others they share the road with as well. And it becomes more common among those that were in an accident with an 18-wheeler. It’s a valid question to have, as it shouldn’t only be relevant for truck drivers since it affects everyone as a whole.
Being a professional truck driver has a lot to do with one’s driving record and how safely they have been on the road over the years. Therefore, there isn’t a simple answer to this question as it depends on a lot of different factors in the end. To help you get a better idea of what I mean, you can find all of these factors listed and described below.
· Whether There Was a Citation Given Due to the Accident(s)
If there was a citation, it’s something that will be reviewed to make sure that it doesn’t make one an unsafe driver. Nobody wants unsafe drivers behind the wheel of big trucks where they could easily kill someone by doing the wrong thing.
However, no citation means that no traffic violations were discovered when the accident wasn’t investigation and further issues with those that got in a wreck with the truck driver should be handled civilly. There was nothing criminal that deemed a closer look at.
· The Severity of Any Traffic Tickets That Have Been Issued
Some traffic violations could result in an immediate suspension of a CDL while others may just add point onto one’s license. Even if there were just point put on a CDL, if they add up to a certain number it could lead to the CDL being revoked.
Below are some of the serious traffic violations known to lead to CDL suspension.
- A traffic violation that happened at the same time as a fatal accident.
- Being under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.
- Changing lanes erratically or an improper manner.
- Driving 15 MPH or more over the posted speed limit.
- Failure to have a CDL in hand when asked for it at the time of an accident.
- Following other vehicles too close, which is also known as tailgating.
- Leaving the scene of an accident that involves a commercial motor vehicle.
- Not having the right CDL class for the equipment being operated or load being hauled.
- Using a commercial motor vehicle when there is a felony being committed.
At the end of the day, having a CDL exposes one to stricter regulations that tend to come with harsher punishment for breaking the law. When someone obtains a CDL, they’re looked at to set the standard for drivers on the road and always be on the lookout to do things properly.
· Alcohol/Drug Testing Requirements When Truck Drivers Have an Accident
The United States Department of Transportation requires those that have a CDL submit an alcohol and drug test immediately if they’re involved in an accident that involves fatalities or if any citations were issued due to the accident. Also, a truck driver is expected to submit one if there is a suspicion that they could be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Even if a truck driver isn’t required by DOT or law enforcement to have drug and alcohol testing done, the company that employs them could still make it mandatory for them to provide one anytime they have been in an accident. Regardless of if the truck accident was their fault or not.
If a driver refuses alcohol and drug testing at any time, they could be at risk of losing their Commercial Driver’s License if it’s a governmental agency requesting them to do so. If it’s the trucking company that they work for, this will still be reported to DOT and in the meantime, their employment could be terminated if the company decides to do so.
· The Number of Years One Has Had Their Commercial Driver’s License
Anytime that one has found themselves in a truck accident shortly after getting their CDL could put them at risk of losing it. This is based upon a determination that might classify them as an irresponsible/reckless driver that poses a risk to themselves as well as others on the road.
Not only could a truck driver lose their CDL if they get in an accident shortly after obtaining it, but the timespan also has a lot to do with showing whether one can safely operate a CMV. I’ll cover this in a little more detail in the next section.
· The Amount of Time Between the Accidents of the Truck Driver
When it comes to a truck driver’s timeline of accidents, this is something that is scrutinized both by the Department of Transportation as well as those that employ them. The reason for this is a truck driver that gets into wrecks one after the other without any extended lapse of time could be a red flag when it comes to them operating a commercial motor vehicle.
For example, let’s say you get in an accident a few years after your last one. This wouldn’t raise any red flags unless you had got into a wreck while committing serious traffic violations. Accidents do happen, which most companies and the government have come to understand.
However, it’s much more different than if you got into a wreck just a couple of months after your last one. This is when it would raise red flags that have your CDL under review to decide whether it could be a risk that needs to be mitigated or if a chance can be provided.
· A lot of the time, the determination rests on trucking companies to make.
When it comes down to the fact of the matter, it’s not only truck drivers that are entrusted to ensure that only truck drivers with a record of safe driving operate semi-trucks. Those who have proven to be reckless drivers could present unnecessary risks for everyone.
This is why trucking companies are required to administer alcohol and drug tests randomly, as well as anytime that there is a suspicion of drug or alcohol abuse with a truck driver. Not to mention, pre-employment testing is also a common practice. On top of this, it is left up to trucking companies whether they keep a driver who has been in an accident or not, regardless of how many accidents they may have on their record.
Commercial transportation is a big industry, and commercial vehicles are usually much bigger than the ordinary vehicle that you use to get around town. There are a lot more things that can happen in a truck accident when it comes to the damage they cause and others that are injured during the accident. It’s for this reason that there are almost always multiple parties being held legally responsible for how they handle things and if a truck accident happens.
If you need more information, contact Houston’s top truck accident attorney today!