Commercial driver pre-hire process changes

Commercial drivers in Missouri will face new pre-hire screening to prevent drunk driving and drugged driving accidents.

The tragic outcomes of a drunk driving accident can include injuries that result in lifelong disabilities or even death. Victims and loved ones in Missouri alike are forced to find ways of processing the impact caused by a drunk driver. In some cases, the impaired driver can be operating a semi-truck, bus or other commercial vehicle. These accidents that include very large vehicles can be of extra concern and cause even more serious injuries due to their weight and size.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration records from 2010 show that 43 drunk drivers involved in fatal accidents around the country that year were operating large trucks. In 2011, that number rose dramatically from 43 drivers to 80 drivers. Statistics like these from the NHTSA are just part of the reason that the federal government has chosen to revise the pre-screen procedures for commercial drivers.

What is the government doing?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the agency tasked with the management and oversight of commercial transportation in Missouri and around the nation. It is currently in the process of developing a database that will be part of a larger pre-hire screening process for all drivers holding commercial licenses. The Commercial Carrier Journal indicates that this database should be completed by the first months of 2016.

The database will house a variety of information about every person who holds a commercial driver's license. A big focus of the data to be collected and reported will be drug or alcohol violations or related accidents. This database will be referenced in all pre-hire screenings.

Some of the specific requirements of the new process will include:

  • Job candidates can only be considered for driving positions if they first agree to take and subsequently pass substance testing. This testing must be for both drugs and alcohol.
  • Job candidates who refuse testing can then only apply for and be hired for positions that do not require driving.
  • Businesses must provide test results from all candidates to the database. This includes any refusals to participate in testing.
  • Businesses must also review hired employees' records annually.

Any driver that operates a self-owned vehicle must hire a neutral party to conduct the database reviews.

Drugged driving and drunk driving targeted for reduction

It is well known that drugs can cause impairment just as can alcohol. This is seen in many situations including in the recent release of a document from the Food and Drug Administration to drug companies. The document outlined ways that potential impairment by drugs can be identified.

Safety is the goal

The government wants to reduce the number of people left dealing with a fatal car accident caused by drunk truck drivers. While this effort can indeed help Columbia residents, it is also important to know when to seek legal assistance if such accidents occur.

Keywords: truck, accident, injury