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Federal agency seeks to reduce big rig accidents causing death or serious injury

A new federal database seeks to limit number of truck accidents caused by intoxicated drivers.

Recently, deaths from large truck big rigs increased by 80 percent per year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Eighty-six of those deaths around the country were due to truck accidents involving impaired drivers.

Residents in and around Oakland, California must navigate some of the nation’s busiest and most congested highways, freeways and surface streets every day. The sheer number and variety of vehicles on our area’s roads makes accidents a fact of life. However, that does not negate the reality that avoiding and reducing accidents is important. So, too, is the ability to seek compensation if the
death of a loved one or serious injury results from a motor vehicle accident involving a truck.

New database tracks driver impairment involving drugs or alcohol

In response to the increase in big rig accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has developed a new database. The database will be a central repository for select information on all persons who are licensed to drive commercial vehicles. This includes drug and alcohol test results as well as refusals to participate in such testing. The FMCSA expects to have the database ready for full use by early in 2016.

Implementing the new database

The FMCSA will require that employers review records stored in the database for all people who apply for driving positions before the applicants can be hired for those positions. Additionally, reviews of the database records must be conducted once per year after a person is hired.

When requested to take pre-employment screening tests, job applicants must either provide written approval to do so or they can refuse. If they refuse, the employer must report such refusals to the database. This choice prevents that person from being hired for driving positions. When a job applicant does consent to testing, the results must also be reported to the database.

Victims’ rights

Anyone who is involved in a truck accident or who has lost a loved one due to the negligence of a truck driver deserves help. Talking to an attorney can offer the needed assistance to obtain justice and the appropriate compensation.

Keywords: truck, accident, injury

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