How Are Georgia Tractor-Trailer Drivers Hired?

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As an injury attorney in Atlanta who handles serious big truck wrecks, prospective clients often ask me: What happens before tractor-trailer wrecks to try to prevent the collision in the first place? Does the trucking company look into the driver’s history? Does the driver have to prove that he has a decent driving record? What steps do trucking companies take to try to prevent future collisions and re-train or reprimand habitually dangerous drivers?

First, there are general qualifications for drivers. Among the “general qualifications” are: the tractor-trailer driver must be at least 21 years old; must be able to read and speak English sufficient enough to converse with the general public, to understand highway signs, and to keep records; be physically able to safely drive the commercial vehicle, have a valid CDL and be licensed in only one state; and, successfully complete a driver’s road test.

Next, there are numerous rules and regulations which trucking companies must follow when hiring a truck driver. First, the application to the trucking company must include all accidents in which the applicant was involved during the 3 years prior to submission of the application; a list of the driver’s prior employers during the 3 years preceding the application; the reason for leaving each such employer. And, within 30 days of the date of hire, the trucking company must place documentation regarding the inquiry into the driver’s prior employment record.

Further, trucking companies are required to keep detailed driver qualification files. For example, the company must annually review their driver’s performances and document the employment file with a notation of the review. There must also be documentation of the medical certification. Next, at least once every 12 months, drivers are required to provide a certified list of all violations of motor vehicle traffic laws of which the driver has been convicted (or has not contested).

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