Can you be a truck driver with a bad driving record? Or are trucking companies required to only hire truckers with clean driving histories? It might come as a surprise to you but truck drivers with bad driving records can still work behind the wheel of a big rig in most situations. As long as they have a valid and current commercial driver’s license (CDL), anyone can technically be a truck driver.
Are There Low Safety Standards for Hiring Truck Drivers?
You can probably expect a fast-food restaurant to not hire someone who admits to contaminating the food they prepare. Retail stores usually won’t hire a cashier with a long history of shoplifting and petty theft convictions. Why is it that trucking companies will still give jobs to truckers with bad driving records?
The trucking industry is demanding and tiring, so many truck drivers do not last in the industry for long. Trucker turnover creates job deficits that make trucking companies scramble to fill roles and fast. When someone applies for a trucking job, there is a good chance the employer doesn’t care about their driving record as long as their CDL is still valid. There are even cases when a trucker is hired despite having a suspended CDL!
What Disqualifies Someone from Being a Truck Driver?
The only way someone can be truly disqualified from being a commercial truck driver is not having a valid and current CDL. But there are many ways to lose a CDL to suspension or revocation.
A trucker’s CDL can be suspended or revoked if:
- They get too many points on their CDL, such as due to DUI convictions or speeding tickets.
- They are convicted of certain violent felonies, such as kidnapping and treason.
A less-than-good driving record does not automatically disqualify a truck driver from being hired. Although, it can be reasonably expected that most trucking companies would prefer to hire someone with a great driving record if given the option.
What Happens When a Bad Truck Driver Causes an Accident?
Trucking companies should try to only employ truck drivers with good driving records because it could be their money on the line when a bad truck driver crashes into someone. Liability for a truck accident can be shared between the trucking company and the trucker they employed due to respondeat superior, which is a legal concept that makes employers liable for their workers’ actions to a reasonable degree. If a truck driver with a bad driving record causes a truck accident, then it would be reasonable to say that the trucking company is also liable for the damages because it willingly employed someone who was likely not fit for that job.
A poor driving record can also increase a truck driver’s liability after an accident. Liability will be split among the trucker and all other motorists involved, but a bigger portion could be assigned to the truck driver because it is possible to assume that someone with a violation-marked driving record was more likely to cause an accident than someone with a clean record. For this reason, it becomes imperative in every truck accident case to discover if the truck driver had a poor driving record or not.
Truck Accident Investigations Uncover the Truth
At Dunk Law Firm, we proudly serve truck accident clients nationwide and give them access to an award-winning legal team that knows what to do to progress their cases. With decades of collective experience, we have the knowledge and tools required to investigate truck accident cases and uncover sources of liability, like a bad driving record held by the involved truck driver. Whenever we help a client, we work diligently to find a way to drop their liability as low as possible and get them as much compensation as possible in return.