Under the law, trucking companies in Texas and throughout the U.S. are required to thoroughly screen and vet new drivers before hiring them. But sometimes - often for profit-driven reasons - this critical step is skipped or glossed over, and companies negligently hire unqualified truckers.
What Texas trucking companies should know before hiring
When someone who isn't properly trained or able to operate a multi-ton vehicle gets behind the wheel, it puts everyone at a higher risk of being injured in a severe or fatal truck accident.
Here's what trucking companies are supposed to know before hiring a truck driver in Texas.
How trucking companies screen new hires
All employers of truck drivers are required to request 10 years of employment history from the application. The request should be made at the time of employment, and the applicant should comply with screenings and records requests. The screening process for hiring a trucker typically includes a:
- Criminal background check.
- Motor vehicle report from each state where a driver has been licensed.
- Drug and alcohol screening.
- Medical screening.
- License, certificates, and endorsements.
- Other records. In some cases where dangerous materials are being transported, the driver may need to provide proof of citizenship or immigration status.
Violations that may disqualify truckers
All these checks, tests, and screening helps potential employers find past violations that may disqualify a trucker from operating a commercial vehicle. Here are just some of the traffic and safety violations that could get a trucker's license suspended, revoked, or canceled either temporarily or permanently:
- Driving a CMV without the proper class of CDL licenses or endorsements or with a CDL that is revoked, suspended, or canceled.
- Reckless driving, including but not limited to willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property, erratic lane changes, and following too closely (tailgating).
- Speeding 15 mph or more over the posted speed limit.
- Leaving the scene of an accident.
- Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance or alcohol.
- Although there are exceptions, in general, using a truck or other commercial vehicle to commit a felony will disqualify a driver.
- Causing a fatality through negligent operation of a commercial motor vehicle, including, but not limited to, the crimes of motor vehicle manslaughter, homicide by motor vehicle, and negligent homicide.
- Violating an out-of-service (OOS) order.
Jeff holds negligent trucking companies accountable
Seeking justice after a serious or fatal truck accident is essential. Attorney Jeff Weinstein has extensive experience in investigating such cases, gathering evidence, and vigorously advocating for Texas truck accident victims and their families.
If you were injured or a loved one died in a truck accident, schedule a free consultation with our law firm. We understand the complexities of truck accident cases, including those involving negligent hiring practices.
We will attentively listen to your story, provide answers to your questions, and help you understand your legal options without any cost or obligation to hire us. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today. We're located in Athens, TX, and proudly serve clients in Henderson County and throughout East Texas.