To legally operate a commercial truck in the United States, a driver must obtain a commercial driver’s license by both passing a test and having a doctor validate the person’s fitness to operate the vehicle. Despite the requirements of commercial driver’s licenses, numerous truck drivers in Texas carry fraudulent licenses and drive commercial trucks without proper training. With the inability to adequately handle vehicles, these truckers often cause substantial truck accidents. In 2006, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a report that found there are 15,032 “suspect” commercial driver’s license holders.
Ways Fraudulent Licenses Are Obtained
There are several common ways that a commercial driver’s license can be considered “suspect” which include the following methods.
- Some individuals obtain suspect commercial driver’s licenses by bribing employees at the Department of Motor Vehicles. In exchange for bribes, these employees change computer records to falsely show that drivers have passed the tests sufficient to obtain a commercial driver’s license.
- Cheating on Exams. Individuals use a variety of methods to cheat on the test required to qualify for a commercial driver’s license. Some of these methods include using Bluetooth headsets to communicate test answers and the use of third parties near the exam to take the test for individuals.
- Fraudulent Documents. An individual might use falsified documents like a birth certificate or identification card to apply for a commercial driver’s license.
- Medical Certification. Individuals who might have difficulties passing the medical examination required for a commercial driver’s license use a variety of fraudulent methods to pass this step. Some fraudulent methods to obtain a medical certification include “doctor shopping” until an individual finds a doctor who will approve the individual’s medical examination.
- There are even groups and individuals who sell fraudulent licenses.
The large number of individuals who are able to obtain commercial driver’s licenses in this manner pose a substantial safety problem for many motorists. While accident victims can hold drivers with “suspect” commercial driver’s license liable for damages caused during a car accident, individuals can also hold trucking companies and commercial carrier operations liable. Employers like trucking companies are required by regulations created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to conduct background investigations prior to hiring commercial truck drivers. An employer through the use of proper investigation might have been able to detect that a commercial truck driver held a “suspect” commercial driver’s license.
If you or a loved one has been injured by an accident involving a commercial driver with a “suspect” license, contact our law firm. Call 409-838-1000 or email our lawyers to schedule your free initial consultation.