Safe Drivers are the Key to Preventing Trucking Accidents in San Antonio

Jan 2014

A recent tractor-trailer accident sent one driver to the hospital with injuries described as life-threatening. As My San Antonio reports, the truck collision occurred when a man in a black Jaguar was trying to pass a tractor trailer. The tractor trailer hit the rear quarter panel of the Jaguar, sending the vehicle crashing into the guardrail. The Jaguar then bounced off of the guard rail, became caught on the rear tires of the tractor trailer and was dragged for a few hundred feet.

Cause of this crash remains unclear. However, truck accident lawyers in San Antonio know that it is one of thousands of truck accidents that occur each year in the state of Texas.  The Texas Crash Data indicates that a total of 27,403 accidents in 2012 involved commercial motor vehicles, and many of these accidents resulted in serious or even deadly injuries for motorists. Preventing truck accidents should be a top priority for every trucking company, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has an important tool that can help these companies to ensure that the drivers they employ are safe.

FMCSA Study Shows Pre-Employment Screening Reduces Accidents

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) created a pre-employment screening program in 2010 in order to try to help trucking companies ensure they were hiring only the safest drivers. The idea was to allow employers to check the background of prospective truckers before hiring them to ensure that the truckers had clean driving records and were being honest about their past driving experience.

The screening program includes five years of accident data on truckers involved in collisions as well as three years of information on inspections. Truckers can thus check whether the driver they are considering has been in trouble for not following safety rules or has been involved in an accident.

Many employers have used this program already, although screening employees before hiring is voluntary. Just three years after the screening program was developed, there were 35,000 registered users by 2013. The trucking companies registered to use the program were making as many as 70,000 information requests each month. This is a massive number of pre-employment background checks that helps to ensure that drivers are safer on the roads.

The widespread use of the pre-employment screening program has proven to be very successful. As Trucking Info reports, motor carriers using the pre-employment screening system experienced a 17.2 percent reduction in OOS violations among their drivers as compared with other carriers who did not screen employees before hiring. Furthermore, there was also a 12.4 percent decline in the rate of accidents for trucking companies that used pre-employment screening.

Since employers can be held legally liable for the negligence of their drivers on duty, and can also be held legally liable for negligent hiring practices, employers who want to protect themselves from potential litigation should strongly consider making use of the pre-employment screening program. Truck accident victims should also consult with an attorney for assistance in determining whether the trucking company who employed the driver in their crash followed reasonable hiring protocols to ensure safety.

Contact the Herrera Law Firm in San Antonio. Call 800-455-1054 today for a free case evaluation.

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