The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations provide certain minimum physical qualifications necessary to drive most trucks. These provisions require that drivers have adequate vision in both eyes, adequate hearing, be free from psychiatric disorders, epilepsy, high blood pressure, insulin dependent diabetes and certain heart conditions. All drivers must have adequate use of his or her extremities and have no current clinical diagnosis of alcoholism.
Any trucking company that uses a driver who fails to meet the physical qualifications of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations can be liable to the innocent victim of the negligence of such a driver. Again, if a trucking company negligently hires an unqualified driver and in the process violates Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations regarding minimum physical qualifications, and it can be established thereby that the driver was not qualified to drive a truck, liability can be established for the violation of the Motor Carrier Safety Regulation in and of itself as both the driver and the trucking company have a responsibility to conform to these minimum requirements.
Our firm has handled several case where the driver was not qualified to drive for physical reasons. Obviously, we discovered this after the fact of an accident involving one of our clients. Unqualified drivers should not be allowed to operate commercial tractor-trailer rigs–plain and simple. Such drivers are dangerous. Thus, in any case involving a serious accident, the driver’s qualifications should be reviewed. As an example, in one case we handled, the driver’s feet were numb from a prior electrical accident! And yet, he was allowed to drive. Needless to say, he never should have done so and both he and his carrier were required to pay our client above actual damages because of such negligence.