While many motorists in Indiana feel comfortable driving alongside tractor-trailers, they may not fully understand the potential dangers of these massive vehicles. Their size alone presents significant hazards to everyone on the road. Not only is it essential that the truckers who operate tractor-trailers are qualified and experienced, they must also be free from substances that could impair their ability to drive.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5,005 people died in large truck accidents in 2019 alone. A number of these accidents are caused by drunk truck drivers, many of which have had prior violations for driving while intoxicated.
What are drunk trucker violations?
The current truck driver shortage has many companies struggling to deliver essential goods to their destination. There simply are not enough truckers to meet tight delivery deadlines. In some cases, companies and independent truckers overlook previous drinking violations in order to move more loads. This, however, compromises the safety of everyone on the road.
Truck drivers who receive a drug or alcohol violation may fail to report it to another company when applying for a position. The new company may hire the driver without knowing that they are currently unable to legally operate a vehicle.
What is the truck driver clearinghouse?
In an attempt to minimize the number of truckers who drive with previous violations, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration developed the Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. Substance abuse professionals, law enforcement officers, medical review officers and third-party administrators enter information into the database regarding truck driver alcohol violations and treatment programs. Employers are then required to check the database to ensure new hires are not currently restricted from driving.
The database helps to share vital information with others in the industry in hopes of increasing everyone’s safety.