If you’ve been in a truck accident with someone who shouldn’t have been behind the wheel due to medical reasons, you may wonder if there were any checks in place to make sure drivers like the one in your accident were kept off the roads in Florida. The United States Department of Transportation does have medical requirements that all commercial drivers need to abide by. These requirements help keep those who can’t see or hear well enough off the roads; they also keep those with severe medical conditions off the roads to prevent accidents.
If the driver who struck you wasn’t truthful about his or her medical history on his or her exam form, then the examination and medical examiner’s certificate may be invalidated. A civil penalty can be filed against the driver for making this false statement, and you may be able to prove that the driver was negligent in your case.
For drivers with limited hearing, there are some tests that need to be performed. The tests include the forced whisper test or a test based on audiometry. The whisper test is performed first; if the driver is unable to pass that test, then audiometry is used to determine the driver’s level of deafness. This will determine if the driver is allowed on the roads as a commercial driver.
Other medical conditions can affect a person’s ability to drive as well. Diabetes, for instance, can make a person appear and feel drunk. It can damage the driver’s sight over time, and it can cause people to black out if their blood sugars raise too high or fall too low. Drivers with this condition need to be approved for work annually and to retain a copy of their certification for presentation upon request. If the driver in your case skipped this test, you may be able to prove negligent or reckless actions.
When injuries or death is due to a truck driver’s actions or inactions, victims and their families have a right to pursue compensation through civil court.
Source: FMCSA, “Medical Requirements” accessed Feb. 19, 2015