Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

Safety focus of new federal database to reduce truck accidents – Houston Law Firm

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is tackling the problems of drunk driving and drugged driving among commercial drivers by developing a new database to track truck drivers including those in Houston, Texas.
Because concerns about drunk driving accidents that involve truckers and other drivers with commercial licenses are real, the federal government is responding by implementing a new program and corresponding database that expects to reduce the number of drivers who can operate commercial vehicles while impaired. Improved safety in all cities, including Houston and a reduction in serious injury, car accidents or fatal truck accidents are the goals.
Referred to within the commercial trucking industry, the Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse rule involves the creation of a far-reaching database that will retain specific data about every driver in Houston, the state of Texas or anywhere in the nation who has privileges to drive in commercial, big-rig trucking capacities.

The Commercial Carrier Journal outlines some of the data that will be captured and how the system will work to reduce truck accidents. Specific details include the following:

  • When applying for a new driving position, Houston truck drivers must sign documents that provide their consent to participate in testing for drugs and alcohol in their systems.
  • Truck drivers who do not provide consent will be banned from being hired for driving positions. The refusal to participate in testing will be required to be reported to the new database.
  • Once test results have been received by potential trucking company employers, any failed test result must be reported to the database.
  • Once employed, a driver’s record must be reviewed by the trucking company employer every year.

Third-party entities must be used to conduct database record reviews for truck drivers who own and operate their own vehicles. The early part of 2016 is the current anticipated launch data for the database.

How extensive is the problem with truck accidents?

Even trucking accident that results in serious injury or death is too many. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows a rise in the number of people who died in accidents at the hands of drunk truck drivers from 2011 to 2012. In this time, the number of drunk driving deaths involving large trucks also rose by a rate of 80 percent.  The statistics in Houston are similar.
In 2011, there were 9,865 lives lost in accidents involving alcohol and 43 of those involved large trucks. In 2012, those numbers both rose to 10,322 total drunk driving deaths and 80 drunk driving deaths from truck accidents. Most of these fatalities occurred in Texas. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s new database is one way that the government is aiming to combat these accidents and reduce the number of associated deaths.

Options for truck accident victims

When any motor vehicle accident happens, tending to medical needs is always the first priority. After that, ensuring good legal representation should always be the next focus for victims in Houston or their family members. Contact our truck accident attorneys in Houston Texas for a free consultation.