When you share the highways with big rig trucks and drivers, you must put your trust in the idea that trucking companies are doing their best to hire safe, competent, and healthy drivers. Yet many truck accidents are the result of driver health issues that prevent the safe operation of these huge vehicles.
As many truck accident lawyers have learned, hiring safe drivers is becoming a widespread problem that is growing every year. Whether these drivers are falsifying medical information or simply failing to report medical conditions, truck accident attorneys know they put you and everyone else on the road at risk.
Operating a Semi Requires Medical Fitness
Although operating a tractor trailer may seem like an easy job, truck accident lawyers know performing this task is actually quite demanding. It requires good reflexes, attention to detail, and an ability to make quick decisions, along with physical strength and many other skills.
Unfortunately, some health issues can affect these necessary skills. When a driver’s ability to safely operate their vehicle is reduced due to a medical issue, their chance of causing truck accidents increases considerably.
Unfit Drivers A Growing Concern
The number of unfit drivers currently operating tractor trailers seems to be on the rise. This is being evidenced by the nearly 1 million drivers who have been cited in just the last half decade for failing to have medical documentation proving their fitness to drive.
Even though drivers are not qualified to drive if they have any disqualifying medical conditions, truck accident attorneys know there are truck operators on the road today without proper medical authorization.
To keep their jobs and stay on the road in what has become a shrinking and aging pool of drivers, more operators skirt the system and try to get by without proper approval. In many cases, the results are driving errors that cause or contribute to dangerous truck accidents.
Problems With Federal Medical Authorization System
While federal law requires commercial drivers to maintain their health and obtain regular screenings for conditions that could affect their driving, truck accident lawyers attest to the fact that enforcing this law is difficult.
Because the DOT requires the operators themselves to report medical information and disclose any conditions that could disqualify them from driving, many simply avoid doing so. Others withhold information during DOT medical exams to prevent disqualification if a medical condition develops.
Truck accident attorneys also point out that there is no standardized method for submitting health information. Drivers can simply say they have been examined by a doctor when they actually have not. All of these concerns contribute to the number of unfit operators with health issues currently on the road.
It is impossible to know whether any driver sharing the road with you has some sort of unreported medical condition that makes him or her unfit to drive. Because of this, truck accident lawyers stress the importance that every driver proceed with caution around large trucks, always giving them plenty of space.
With nearly one-third of all operators having received a citation for a lack of medical authorization documentation, truck accident attorneys stress the need for tightening federal medical authorization requirements and closing all reporting loopholes. Reducing deadly truck accidents means making sure that only the safest operators are on the road!
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (281) 410-5810