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Big-Rig And Bus Drivers Who Cause Accidents

trucks on the highway

Posted on July 23, 2008

A government safety study is revealing just who is behind the wheel of that big-rig and bus next to you on the highway.

The 30-page General Accounting Office (GAO) study, to be released Thursday, shows that more than a half-million commercial tractor-trailer and bus drivers with commercial licenses are also eligible for full disability benefits.

These are not people sitting at home waiting for benefits. They are still driving 40-ton vehicles, next to you on the highway!

When these drivers have seizures, heart attacks or pass out, hundreds of deaths and injuries have occured.

The Transportation Department reports there were  5,300 people who died in crashes with commercial trucks or busses in 2006, the last year for which statistics are available.  Another 126,000 people were injured.

The GAO reports that sometimes drivers “doctor shop” to find a doctor who will either overlook their pre-existing health problem. Or the driver will simply fail to mention it in a medical checkup.

Some of the violations mentioned in the report include: a Florida bus driver who used three daily inhalers to fight his lung disease. He told investigators that he “occasionally blacks out and forgets things.”  And that he “gets winded” when he walks to his mailbox.  He had no medical certificate, but does have a commercial driver’;s license until 2010.

Big-rig and bus drivers need to make a living too, and we all are living well because of products and food transported across the country. But this situation is out of control.

Back in 2001, the  federal agency in charge of truckers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, was charged with completing  eight safety recommendations. So far none has been accomplished — items such as stopping doctor shopping, and setting a minimum health standard before a driver can obtain a commercial license.

It seems reasonable.

We hope you are never involved in an accident with a bus or tractor-trailer. But if you are you’;ll need to contact an experienced attorney who knows about the black box onboard a truck and the information it contains that can help your case. An accident attorney knows the number of hours a trucker can legally drive and when he is in violation.  And an experienced  attorney knows how to find witnesses and contact them for information while it is still available.

You never want to be involved in a trucking accident in Jacksonville. If you are, you never want to go it alone.   Farah & Farah is here to help.