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Judge John E. Turner (Ret.)

Cheating truck drivers pose a real danger on the road

Driving a massive 18-wheeler truck isn't like driving a golf cart. Because commercial trucks are so large, heavy and dangerous, it takes a special kind of license (a commercial driver's license or CDL) to operate one.

The frightening fact is that not all truck drivers obtain their CDLs legitimately. Some cheat on the tests or conduct other scams. This means the person behind the wheel of the next semi-truck you see may not actually be qualified to drive.

An Overdrive article reports that the Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General has conducted several criminal investigations over the past year. All of these investigations were related to dishonest trucking companies and truck drivers.

Here are a few of the startling crimes they uncovered:

  • Faking CDL test results. A CDL examiner admitted that he was guilty of accepting cash from applicants instead of having them actually take the driver's license test.
  • Running a large CDL scam. Three people were arrested and convicted of helping applicants cheat on the driving tests. They employed external test-takers, guards, facilitators and other individuals to make this scam possible.
  • Forging medical forms. One trucker pled guilty to forging a nurse's signature on the medical form and card required by the Department of Transportation.

Who knows how many truckers across the country are buying their CDLs instead of earning them? And who knows how many other truckers are falsifying their medical records? Both these issues are alarming because they potentially put unfit drivers behind the wheel of very dangerous vehicles.

What This Means For You

If you were injured in a car crash involving a commercial truck, never assume that the crash was your fault. The trucker may not have had the training or physical ability necessary to operate his or her vehicle safely. Let an experienced personal injury attorney sort through the facts and advise you about how to proceed.

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