CDL drivers have stricter rules

Commercial vehicles are different in many ways. They carry more weight, making collisions more dangerous. There are many different parties involved with the operation and maintenance of 18-wheelers. One crucial element is that drivers must carry a special license subject to different substance testing rules.

The commercial driver's license that all interstate commercial drivers must Carry has a different application process than a standard driver's license. In addition, CDL drivers have stricter standards when it comes to alcohol and substance abuse.

The Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration describes CDL substance abuse testing issues on its website. In short, commercial drivers must complete substance abuse testing at various junctures throughout their education and career:

  • During the training
  • Upon reasonable suspicion of abuse
  • Before employment
  • After an accident
  • At random intervals

While any collision with a commercial vehicle is likely to involve a police report, it should also include a substance test for the commercial driver. Even if the driver were not operating the vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance or of alcohol, there could be grounds for a claim against the trucking company responsible for testing the driver. As mentioned on FindLaw, trucking companies may be liable if they fail to take measures to ensure that drivers remain safe and alert.

Apart from controlled substances, there are various ways in which a driver may become less safe while out of the road. One of these is fatigue. As mentioned on the FindLaw resource, companies that drive their truckers too hard may be responsible for creating an unsafe environment that leads to a predictable and preventable catastrophe.

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