Dallas, Texas (JusticeNewsFlash.com) –- Have you ever sneezed while driving and swerved a little because of the convulsion? Imagine a driver of a 40-50 ton truck barreling down the road at 50-60 miles per hour, who has a heart attack, seizure, or even falls asleep at the wheel. Thousands of accidents have been caused in the past few years due to these very things, but can they really be called accidents?
According to a new study conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), many commercial truck drivers daily use their licenses even though they more than qualify for full federal disability payments. Their data collected about 12 states found that 85% had a current CDL even though they had a medical condition and received full disability benefits. The Veterans Affairs Department, Labor Department and Social Security Administration determined that 563,000 commercial drivers are eligible for full disability benefits over health issues. It said disability doesn’t necessarily mean a driver is unfit to operate a commercial vehicle, but its investigators found alarming examples that raised doubts about the safety of the nation’s highways. They identified more than 1,000 drivers with vision, hearing or seizure disorders, which generally would prohibit a trucker from obtaining a valid commercial license.
The study also investigated 15 cases wherein the commercial drivers with serious medical conditions caused grave consequences. The severity of the crashes is exemplified in a case from April 2002 in which a Tennessee day care bus driver crashed into a bridge, killing himself and four children on the bus. The National Transportation Safety Board stated that the driver, Wesley B. Hudson, fell asleep, “quite likely due to an undiagnosed sleep disorder.” Why is disorder went undetected to the point of killing four children is unexplainable.
Nevertheless, in every story, there is always an opposing side and in this one it is the truck drivers. Many of which argue that if stricter limitations were placed on them, the economy and mass public would be hindered. Of course the delivery of goods and services across the nation is important, but at the cost of how many lives? Those who hold CDLs must be medically certified every two years. As one can see, the results demonstrate that there are many physically unfit drivers who are currently operating trucks and buses. This is fraud at the state medical certification level.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration even admits to not completing any of the eight recommendations that U.S. safety regulators have proposed since 2001. Requiring drivers to be tested and determined ‘medically safe’ to operate such vehicles. Yet it is clear that these recommendations need implementation. According to the Transportation Department, 5,300 people died in crashes involving large commercial trucks or buses in 2006 and about 126,000 more were injured. It was also found that in 12% of those accidents, the driver was known to have a medical disability that could have affected his ability to drive cautiously.
It is the responsibility of the U.S. DOT and state licensing agencies to guarantee that proper and complete evaluations of CDL applicants are comprehensive. The CDL holders also have a responsibility to the general public to keep them free from harm on the roads.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to any type of auto accident, contact the attorneys of Eberstein & Witherite, LLP. With forty years of experience, they are experts in the area of personal injury law and are committed trial lawyers, who steadfastly fight for their clients’ rights.
The firm offers a bilingual staff of committed, skilled legal professionals and direct and consistent access to a lead attorney dedicated to helping the client obtain just compensation.
For more information visit the website: Dallas Truck Accident Lawyer / Eberstein & Witherite, LLP, successfully negotiated a $1.6 million settlement to compensate truck driver for damages related to the death.
About Eberstein & Witherite, LLP
Eberstein & Witherite, LLP is a Dallas personal injury law firm specilizing in truck accident injury cases. Their senior partners are Texas natives and proud members of the communities they serve. We specialize in Personal Injury Cases Related to:
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Jana Simard is a contributing writer for Justice News Flash with degrees in Political Science and Spanish. Born in Canada, but raised in sunny south Florida, Jana had an early passion for writing. During her high school and college years she interned at a Florida Congressman's office as well as a Rhode Island Governor and Senator's office. While in her last two years of college, Jana spent six months in Salamanca, Spain where she truly discovered her passion for writing and had her articles published in her school's newspaper. Her experience in two Providence high profile law firms has equipped her with the ability to write for Justice News Flash as a Legal Reporter.