Do Texas Truck Drivers Need a Good Driving Record When Operating Semi Trucks and Other Big Rigs?
A history of previous truck accidents or traffic violations creates liability for trucking companies and could jeopardize the truck driver’s license.
It takes specialized knowledge, skill, and experience to handle a semi tractor trailer, 18 wheeler, or other big rig. Between the large size and bulk of these trucks, navigating through different traffic and road conditions can be treacherous. When truck accidents do occur, it can result in severe and potentially life threatening injuries for other motorists. To protect themselves against liability in these accidents, trucking companies generally require a clean driving record. Too many violations or a history of truck accidents could put the truck driver’s commercial license in jeopardy.
The Impact of a Bad Driving Record on Obtaining a Commercial Driver’s License
In order to be a truck driver, you first need to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). In Texas, requirements listed by the Department of Public Safety (TXDPS) include passing vision and driving skills testing, along with submitting a criminal background check. As part of the licensing procedure, your driving record will be pulled, disclosing any past offenses or violations you have.
If you have a history of moving violations, such as speeding, reckless driving, or driving under the influence, your CDL license will not be approved. Depending on the violation and when it occurred, your rights to this type of license may be suspended for a period of months or even years. This is true if you already have a CDL. Too many violations could result in a complete revocation of your commercial driving privileges.
Why Your Driving Record Matters When Obtaining a CDL
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), close to 90,000 people are injured as the result of truck accidents each year in the U.S., while more than 4,000 others die as the result of their injuries. In the majority of these cases, it is other motorists involved who suffer the most severe impacts. While road, traffic, and weather conditions are often a contributing factor, the leading causes of truck accidents are the reckless behaviors of the driver. These include:
- Speeding and going too fast for conditions;
- Aggressive driving, such as tailgating and failure to yield;
- Distracted driving, such as using cell phones or texting;
- Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or prescription and over the counter medications;
- Drowsy driving and falling asleep behind the wheel.
When trucking companies hire truck drivers with a poor driving record, they are increasing their own liability when truck accidents occur. Trucking Truth reports that in most cases, carriers will not hire a driver with moving violations on their record from any time over the previous three years.
When Truck Accidents Occur, Contact Austin Accident Attorney Stephen G. Nagle
Truck wrecks can result in catastrophic injuries that prevent you from working and providing for yourself and your loved ones. When these types of accidents occur, contact attorney Stephen G. Nagle and request a consultation to discuss how you can get the compensation you need to recover.