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Motor carriers must keep a complete truck driver qualification file

Rule 5 of “Big 10 Rules of the Road”

  • Presented by: Steven M. Gursten
  • Description: This is the sixth of a series of 13 videos for truck accident attorneys on handling trucking accident cases. In this video, Steve Gursten shares Rule 5 of his “Big 10 Rules of the Road” during the American Association for Justice Interstate Truck Litigation Group conference in New Orleans. Rule 5 emphasizes the motor carrier’s responsibility to keep a complete truck driver qualification file; and how when that is not done, truck accident attorneys can use such neglect to their advantage.
  • Length: 1 minute, 17 seconds.

Video Transcript:

Slide: Carrier’s duty to maintain complete driver qualification file

A. Must include the driver’s

  • Application for employment
  • Copy of MV record from each state where licensed
  • Certificate of road test
  • Annual review
  • Traffic violations
  • Medical examiner’s certificate

B. Must be maintained for as long as driver employed, plus three years.

Duty to maintain a complete driver qualification file. I think a lot of lawyers in this room who’ve handled a number of trucking cases would agree that something is always missing from the truck driver qualification file. It’s either missing entirely, or when you go through it you see things that are outdated, for example, medical examiners certificates. Normally something is not there or that has lapsed that should be current. And this is one of those reptile rules. Our reptile brains do not like when these motor carriers put these trucks on the roads without doing a thorough investigation to make sure they are safe drivers, and that they’re fit to drive behind the wheel of an 80,000 pound truck on the roads that they share with our families. So I look at this as one of those reptile rules, and it’s a good one to always keep in mind.

How Michigan Auto Law can help with your truck crash

If you’re a truck accident attorney and you need help with a truck case, read our online guide, Help for attorneys handling truck accident cases. For more information, here’s a blog on truck driver qualification files.

If you’ve been in a truck accident, call (800) 968-1001 to speak with one of our truck accident attorneys today. The call and the advice are free, and we can answer all of your questions.