When you approach an 18-wheeler on the highway, you have to trust that the driver knows how to operate the truck and is driving carefully. But there may be no way to know for sure until after the driver gets you into a terrible truck accident that gives you serious bodily injuries.
For example, you cannot say that every truck driver on the road has their commercial driver’s license (CDL) in good standing. It might surprise you to learn that Pennsylvania’s highways frequently have huge commercial trucks being driven by truckers with no valid CDL. In fact, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), of all the fatal trucking crashes that occurred in 2019, at least 19.8 percent involved a trucker with an expired, suspended or revoked CDL — or a driver who was never issued a CDL at all.
The importance of a commercial license
Every commercial truck driver is supposed to have an active and valid CDL. To obtain one, the driver must pass skills and knowledge tests, usually conducted within their home state. Before driving certain commercial vehicles, like a truck with a double or triple trailer, the driver must obtain a special endorsement.
Several actions can get a trucker’s CDL suspended or revoked, including:
- Drunk/drugged driving
- Hit and run
- Using a truck to commit a felony
- Reckless driving
- Violation of traffic laws in connection with a fatal auto accident
When a driver loses their CDL to suspension or revocation, they are not supposed to be on the road until their license is restored. But as the fatal truck accident statistic above proves, a lot of truck drivers don’t care about the law. Which can put you and your loved ones in grave danger.