Truck drivers need to go through a detailed training and education program to obtain a Commercial Drivers License (CDL). A CDL is important since driving large trucks require a significant level of skill and practice. It should go without saying that legitimate truck drivers are some of the most skilled and safe motorists on the road, hauling materials and goods across the US over millions of miles every year. However, drivers without sufficient training, practice and experience are more likely to cause serious truck accidents. That’s why every state has strict laws against truck drivers who don’t carry a commercial license.
Requirements to Obtain a Commercial Driving License (CDL)
Getting a truck driving license is no easy walk in the park, a driver who wants a CDL in the United States needs to take part in a rigorous training exercise. The driver also needs to pass tests to obtain the license. The specific requirements to obtain a CDL differs in each state. Here are some simplified general requirements for getting a commercial license to drive trucks.
- Studying the manual of CDL
- Passing a written exam to show knowledge about driving a truck
- Getting a learning permit
- Passing a driving test to get the CDL
Depending on the CDL you’re pursuing (Class A or B), the process can take 1-8 weeks. An individual who wants to obtain a commercial truck driving license needs to be above 18 years old and the written test and driving test gauge the skill of the driver in handling commercial vehicles. Neighboring countries like Mexico and Canada require similar testing and training for truckers with the passage of the USMCA. Unfortunately, while most truck drivers get their license through legitimate proper channels, a number of truck drivers and other institutions have been discovered to rig the system in order to obtain/issue the license.
Way of Committing Trucking License Fraud
Commercial drivers can commit license fraud in many ways. Here are some of the ways in which unscrupulous truckers and schools have been known to get or issue licenses illegally.
- Falsified Documents: Truck accident drivers might falsify the documents such as identification card and birth certificate. The drivers might show themselves as above the legal age limit for driving a truck or crossing states.
- Bribing Officials: Bribing school officials is hot in the news right now, but it’s really nothing new. Some drivers may obtain a commercial license by bribing a contact at the Department of Motor Vehicles. The drivers or their trucking company may get the officials to change their state in the computer record as having a license to drive commercial trucks.
- Fraudulent Medical Certificate: Drivers may also obtain a driving license by submitting a fake medical certificate. The drivers may use a number of fraudulent techniques such as the common ‘doctor shopping’ where the driver searches for a doctor who will approve medical condition without a thorough evaluation of the actual condition. Some fake medical practitioners also overlook medical issues in return for money. The medical conditions could relate to diseases that prevent a driver from driving responsibly on the road. This poses a serious risk increasing the chances of fatal truck accidents.
- Cheating to Pass Written Test: Truck drivers use many different ways to cheat during the test. Some of the ways they cheat during the test include using Bluetooth headsets hidden inside the ear and a third party near the exam center communicates the answers during the test.
- Fraudulent Instructors: We’ve heard of cases have whereby the instructors were found to be giving improper grades or testing to students in order to push students through the curriculum. Some have passed students without even riding with the driver in exchange for money while others ride a short distance to avoid any suspicion. The course is “passed” without finding out whether a driver knows how to react during a collision and the driver may not even have driven a truck previously and may not be ready for the road.
- Falsification by Truck Driving School: We’ve also seen cases whereby the truck driving schools themselves were guilty of making a deal with a testing agency and/or the DMV to give false certification for students. In one particular case, nearly 623 students were falsely given certifications. When they were retested, only 142 were able to pass the test.
Dangers of Fraudulent Truck Licenses
The number of trucks on the roads has increased significantly over the past few years. Today there are thousands of interstate trucking companies in the US. There are about more than 3.5 million truck drivers.
While states have tightened laws and implemented strict penalties regarding fraudulent commercial licenses, but many slip through the cracks of the legal system. The reality is that there are still a lot of unskilled truck drivers with fraudulent CDLs. They pose a significant danger to everyone on the road.
The exact number of fraudulent truck drivers can probably be never known. But safety experts predict that there might be more than tens of thousands of commercial truck drivers with bogus licenses. A truck driver with a license obtained through duping the system is like a criminal at large. The drivers may not know how to react to dangerous road accidents and they have not passed any official testing or requirements.
Contact Professional Truck Accident Lawyer
Most truck drivers are law abiding citizens who’ve passed all required training and testing and have earned a valid Commercial Drivers License. However, there are some who’ve defrauded the system to get the license. Some trucking companies hire such unscrupulous truck drivers to keep the costs down. But you should not let them get away with a truck accident that led to a serious injury.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, you need to contact a professional accident lawyer to file a claim. A truck accident attorney will carry out a thorough investigation to prepare evidence for your claim.
You should know your rights when it comes to truck accidents cases. Having a qualified truck accident attorney by your side will increase the chances of a successful court outcome. Experienced truck accident lawyers have years of experience in handling cases involving tankers, trailers, semi-trucks and large commercial trucks. They know about the fraud that some drivers involved in truck accidents commit to obtain licenses. Licensing fraud warrants strict penalties. The guilty party must pay a high price for the injuries caused to another due to negligence that led to a truck accident.
Getting the help of a qualified truck accident attorney will ensure that your rights are protected. You can rest assured of the likelihood of maximum possible payout when you hire a professional accident attorney to fight your case.