Greene County, MO- With an improving economy more goods are being shipped across the country, increasing the number of large commercial trucks on the road. This also means that truck accidents are on the rise, calling into question safety issues in the trucking industry. One of those safety issues is a truck driver’s safety record.
In the aftermath of a truck accident, a driver’s safety records becomes very important, both to police and truck accident attorneys, when determining culpability. It is also important to trucking companies who are thinking about adding a driver to their roster. But a lawsuit filed by six members of the Operator Owner Independent Drivers Association alleges the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is turning over safety records to prospective employers in violation of their privacy rights, Trucking Info reported.
The OOIDA lawsuit states that the FMCSA is releasing unauthorized information to potential employers, shutting some drivers out of jobs and better pay. Under current regulations, the FMCSA is allowed to release five years of crash data for a driver and three years of safety violations, but the suit alleges the agency is releasing information other than “serious driver-related issues.”
The OOIDA says that not only is the FMCSA Administration releasing records beyond their authority, they are “willfully to disparage the safety records of individual drivers,” Trucking Info reported. The plaintiffs also say the FMCSA refuses to remove references to violations even when the charges have been dismissed in court.
The OOIDA lawsuit comes at a time when trucking safety has become a matter of national debate. Whether or not FMCSA is in violation of remains to be seen. It will take months, perhaps longer, before the case winds through court and many will be eager to see how this case works out.
A driver’s safety records is an important trucking safety issue. In many incidents, a driver’s safety records could reveal a pattern of reckless behaviors such as speeding, improper lane changes, distraction or fatigued driving. A driver can engage in these behaviors day after day or year after year without even causing a collision. But under the right, or should we say, wrong circumstances — reckless behaviors can be dangerous or deadly.
FMCSA data shows that fatal truck accidents rose 18 percent between 2009 and 2012. That’s a dramatic increase. In 2012, 104,000 people were injured in truck accidents. In light of the recent increase in truck fatal truck accidents and the high number of injuries that result, it’s reasonable to take into account all the factors that could be playing a role; driver safety records included.
Given their size and weight, a truck accidents can be deadly. Those that survive can suffer serious injuries and unimaginable pain as a result. Truck accident victims need someone they can rely on to help them determine who is fault for their injuries and get compensation for their many accident-related costs. Retaining a Missouri truck accident attorney, will assure that your best interests and rights are being protected as you pursue a personal injury or wrongful death suit.