FMCSA targets safety improvements with database

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is responding to the need for a reduction in deaths caused by truck drivers operating vehicles while impaired.

Most people who live and drive in Fayetteville, Arkansas have likely heard reports of serious motor vehicle accidents. They may even know of someone who has been involved a serious crash or have themselves been the victims. No matter the cause of a collision, the consequences can always range from the minor to the most severe-wrongful death.

Impaired driving a serious issue

In those cases where lives are lost at the hands of negligent drivers, understanding the causes of the accidents is important. Impaired driving involving drugs or alcohol is one known cause of many serious and deadly accidents. The Food and Drug Administration recently issued preliminary guides that drug manufacturers can use to better identify drugs that are likely to impair driving ability.

Impaired driving among commercial drivers is another issue that is getting attention from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. A report in the Commercial Carrier Journal offers information about a database planned for release next year that will be used to track drug and alcohol test results as well as other information for drivers who are licensed to operate commercial vehicles. The purpose of the work is to reduce drunk driving and drugged driving rates among commercial drivers.

Drunk driving among truckers

According to records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the number of lives lost due to drunk driving accidents involving large trucks in 2012 was 86 percent greater than the number of lives lost due to the same cause in 2011. In the former year, 43 fatalities occurred and in 2012, that number rose to 80.

How can the database help?

The FMCSA will have specific requirements for both commercial drivers and their employers. Among these are the following:

  • All driving job applicants must provide their written consent for potential employers to review their driving records in the new database.
  • All driving job applicants must pass substance tests before hiring can be finalized.
  • All employers must provide substance test results to the database.
  • Applicants can refuse the substance testing but will then be ineligible to be hired for driving jobs.
  • All employers must review driving employees' records in the database once per year after employment begins.

Drivers who operate their own vehicles must outsource the database screening process to approved third party vendors.

Accident victims deserve help

The tragic nature of drunk truck driving accidents cannot be overstated. Persons who are involved in these situations or who lose loved ones in such crashes should contact an attorney immediately.

Keywords: truck, accident, injury