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Accurate medical assessments are mandatory for big rig drivers

Before hitting the road, drivers must do their best to ensure that everything is in order to successfully complete a trip -- no matter how long or short. This means that it's important for drivers to ensure that their vehicle is safe for driving. At the same time, it's equally important for motorists to understand whether or not they are, in fact, in a condition to drive safely.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recognizes the important of driver health, which is why they require interstate commercial drivers to be certified by a medical doctor. Driving hundreds or thousands miles in a single trip can take a physical toll, so it's critical to make sure that a truck driver is healthy enough to meet those demands.

The importance of accurate, verifiable medical records was made apparent by a recent decision handed down by the FMCSA. Federal transportation officials noted that big rig drivers who had received a health certification from one particular doctor need to get reevaluated. Reports indicate that the physician in question performed thousands of exams on drivers operating out of multiple states while he was in failing health. As a result, it's believed that the assessments may not have been properly performed.

In the coming weeks and months, drivers and their employers have a responsibility to get new health certificates issued. Any glaring medical issues that were missed could wind up contributing to an accident.

Motorists trust that others on the road have followed all of the relevant rules to continue operating. When this responsibility is cast aside and people get hurt in a truck accident, drivers or their employers could be held liable with a personal injury claim. Taking this kind of action can help ensure that trucking companies do a better job of adhering to safety requirements in order to help prevent future accidents.

Source: TruckingInfo.com, "FMCSA Warns of Improper Medical Exams," April 3, 2014

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