Trucking companies must investigate the background of every prospective driver. The federal regulations require it. Since turnover of truck drivers can be high and many drivers jump from job to job, the company safety director may need to contact many different past employers. The reason for this is simple: a truck company should not hire a driver who has a poor driving history or had problems in his or her past jobs.
When a truck company does not fully investigate both the driving history and the full employment history of the driver, dangerous drivers can cause catastrophic damage on our highways and interstates. Here are some real life examples of cases I have handled where people were injured:
1. a truck company hired a driver with two felony drug convictions, multiple speeding violations, multiple over-hours violations and had driven for five different companies over the previous three years. Not surprisingly, this driver had three “accidents” on his current job. At the last accident, he fled the scene and the police discovered methampethamine in his truck cab with pipes and burners along with an unathorized female escort.
2. a large, mullti-national truck company hired a driver who could not read english and could not pass even the most basic written safety test. The company helped the driver cheat on the test and sent her out on long trips. She and her husband were involved in a fatal “accident” on a U.S. interstate in inclement weather. Both drivers had not been properly trained in inclement weather driving.
3. a large truck company hired a driver with a known medical condition that may have contributed to his failing to keep a proper lookout and colliding into the rear of a vehicle stopped on the interstate.
Truck companis must hire only qualified, professional drivers. When these drivers are involved in accidents, the primary fault falls with the truck company that allowed the bad drivers on the road in the first place.