Cedar Rapids, IATruck drivers are usually subject to background checks for very specific reasons. The company will be attached as a defendant in any lawsuit where the driver is responsible for an accident, so it is in their interest to investigate the driver’s background. The company will essentially have to pay for the driver’s mistakes if they are found to be at fault for the collision. 

Background checks and pre-employment screening

Many companies refer to this process as pre-employment screening. This is especially important in the trucking industry, as turnover rates tend to be high and drivers switch companies or take on work as an independent contractor regularly. Because of these issues and others, some companies choose to not do any screening at all, which can cause problems later if there are accidents and other issues. However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration does require certain kinds of background checks for truck drivers, even if companies try to bypass or ignore these regulations. There are even regulations related to how these checks can be conducted and what information must be shared with the applicant. 

Common forms of screening

A criminal record is one indicator that the driver may cause issues. This is especially true if there are charges for drug possession, theft, or criminal driving offenses such as reckless driving or DUIs. These kinds of records may indicate that the driver will not operate the vehicle safely and cannot be trusted with cargo. 

Previous places of employment are often used as references, and the company will want to verify experience. Good drivers will usually have other similar positions where they have worked without major issues. 

Licensing requirements are also crucial. All commercial drivers will need to possess the right kind of CDL or other credentials for the vehicle they are driving and the work they are doing. At minimum, the trucking company should make sure the driver is licensed and able to hold a valid CDL. 

Drug testing is part of the screening process for any employer that needs to ensure that their drivers will not be under the influence of alcohol or substances while working. Standard tests for the Department of Transportation include looking for cocaine, marijuana, opiates, and amphetamines in the blood. 

General driving and motor vehicle records are important as well. Someone who has had numerous traffic tickets and license suspensions will normally not be a safe driver, even if these offenses were in a standard vehicle while not working. 

Costs of an accident

When a truck driver causes an accident, the company may have serious costs due to legal fees and the damages paid out to the victim. Anyone who is hurt by the driver may miss time from work, have to stay in the hospital, and require more visits to a doctor in the future as they need continued treatment from a medical professional. 

Firm contact info:

Eells and Tronvold Law Offices 

1921 51st Street NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-2400  

319-393-1020 

www.eellsandtronvold.com

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