Slide: Physical qualifications of truck drivers
A. Drivers must have medical certificate of a licensed physician to operate a CMV
B. 49 CFR rule 391.45: Motor carrier has obligation to determine if an injury or illness renders a driver physically unqualified
When I think about impairments, physical, but especially mental impairments, I think about Ohio State University. Rule No. 2. This is the takeaway with rule 2. The onus, the responsibility to ensure this truck driver is fit to drive is on the motor carrier, always. And it cannot be delegated. If they send him for a medical exam, it doesn’t mean the motor carrier is off the hook. The responsibility is always with the motor carrier. Any changes to that truck driver’s health, if the medical exam was one year ago, or one week ago, any change in that truck drivers health, the onus and responsibility still lies with the motor carrier. So you can think of this as the better safe than sorry rule, but the point is this: Any health problem that you encounter that this truck driver has in any of your cases, unless it’s an unexpected, genuine act of God, without any warning whatsoever, that motor carrier is responsible for that truck driver behind the wheel. And that’s what this rule is.
If you’re a truck lawyer and you need help with your case, take a look at our online guide, Help for attorneys handling truck accident cases. For more information, here’s a blog on why that truck driver should have never been on the road in the first place.
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