FMCSA Updates Medical Requirements for Commercial Truck Drivers to Prevent Trucking Accidents
In May of this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) updated requirements for commercial truck drivers, stating that they needed to see a certified medical practitioner for medical exams, to ensure that health issues will not lead to more trucking accidents.
The FMCSA also updated its list of National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME), adding more than 8,000 health care professionals who are certified to give medical exams to commercial truck drivers. An additional 22,500 medical professionals have initiated the process of becoming certified.
As of May 21st, all medical exams on commercial truck drivers (CDL or non-CDL) must be performed by a medical examiner who has received training and passed the certification test, according to the federal agency.
“Medical examiners equipped with a thorough understanding of DOT fitness standards will be able to ensure that commercial drivers meet the health requirements necessary to operate on our highways and roads, thereby strengthening safety for every traveler,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, in a recent press release by FMCSA.
“I’m a firm believer in that all drivers need to be safe on the roads,” says commercial truck driver, Glenn Wiest, of North Dakota.
The examination checks for cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems, and motor function. Commercial truck drivers are in one of the most stressful professions in the country, and an undetected physical problem can lead a black-out or worse physical issues on the road, which can lead to a serious trucking accident.
“We have to go through a nine-hour training course so that we’re up-to-date on the regulations,” says Dr. Joel Blanchard, Sanford Health. “And with this new education, we’re aware of some of these standards and are now providing what we feel is a better examination of commercial motor vehicle standards.”
Trucking Accidents Can Cause Serious Injury and Wrongful Death
Accidents involving heavy commercial vehicles such as semi tractor trailers, flatbed or tanker trucks, buses, or construction accidents can often result in a serious injury or death.
Many times truck drivers cannot see in certain blind spots around their large 18 wheeler. You will also find that many truck drivers do not follow the speed limits and rules of the road. They are often pressured by deadlines and have been on the road for a while and just want to get to their destination.
Other accidents are the result of driver fatigue. Drivers will sometimes fall asleep at the wheel or at least lack sufficient attention and readiness to avoid truck accidents.
Some truck drivers also drive while using alcohol or other drugs unknown to their employer which causes them to drive recklessly and put others on the road in danger.
Injuries sustain in these types of accidents can be disabling. Accidents involving heavy commercial vehicles can cause:
- Loss of a job
- Extended leave of absences
- Family issues
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Injury Cases in Trucking Accidents
Anyone can be a victim in such accident. With careful analysis and investigation we will look at critical factors including:
- Commericial vehicle crash cases
- Maintenance and equipment records for the vehicle
- Oversize and overweight loads
- Weather, road, and grade conditions
- Drivers’ conditions
If you or a loved one has been such a victim, contact the Strom Law Firm, LLC trucking accident lawyers. Whether you were injured in a bus accident, tractor trailer accident, or any other commercial vehicle accident, we can help.