Federal law requires motor carriers to effectively train its truck drivers and to take steps to ensure that they comply with all federal transportation regulations. Under this group of federal laws, motor carriers are often found responsible for negligently hiring unqualified truck drivers. When the Maryland truck accident attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers take on a new case, we always review the motor carrier’s employee orientation and training procedures. Our Maryland truck accident attorneys have found that an adequate hiring procedure is comprised of the following three stages: (1) Recruitment/Pre-Qualifying Interview; (2) Application/Background check; and (3) Driver Orientation.
1. Recruitment / Pre-Qualifying Interview
Many motor carriers actively seek out skilled professional drivers to help man its fleet of trucks. Good motor carriers hire retired truck drivers with good safety records to scout out potential commercial truck drivers. This method allows experienced professional drivers to initially review a potential driver’s knowledge of trucking operations and ability to safely operate a commercial vehicle. After the completion of the pre-qualifying interview, potential drivers are normally invited to begin an application process.
2. Application / Background Check
During the application process, the employer must procure and keep relevant information pertaining to the driver’s employment history and driving safety record. Federal law requires a motor carrier to gather the potential driver’s employment and driving history for the three years prior to the driver’s current employment. Specifically, the current employer must request the following information about their current employee:
i. General employment data about the driver;
ii. Information about the vehicle accidents in which the driver was involved; and
iii. Information concerning any alcohol or drug violations and/or rehabilitation.
3. Driver Orientation
After the application process the carrier must conduct a driver orientation in order to confirm the driver’s skill and inform the driver of his responsibilities. To comply with federal law, the motor carrier must conduct, and a driver must pass, a road test that demonstrates the driver’s skill in handling a commercial vehicle. During the remainder of the orientation process, a motor must also instruct the drivers on the company’s safety policies, record keeping policies, hours of service regulations, and safe driving techniques.