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Liability of an unqualified truck driver in a truck accident

Just like drivers of automobiles in Iowa and other states in the nation must pass a written test and a driving test to obtain a driver's license, drivers of commercial vehicles such as semi-trucks must also pass tests to get a commercial vehicle license. In fact, drivers have more strict guidelines to meet in order to operate a commercial motor vehicle, and if an unqualified truck driver is hired or continues to operate a large truck, this could create serious risk and dangers on the roadway. Moreover, this could help establish liability for a truck accident.

According to federal trucking regulations, a driver who is disqualified is not permitted to drive a commercial motor vehicle. This is true regardless if they previously drove a commercial vehicle. Moreover, a motor carrier cannot require or permit a driver who has been disqualified to drive a commercial vehicle even if the driver previously drove for the motor carrier.

When a truck driver's commercial driver's license has been revoked, suspended withdrawn or denied, a driver is disqualified, either temporarily or permanently, from operating commercial vehicles on public highways. Moreover, when a truck driver receives notice that his or her license, permit or privilege to operate a commercial vehicle has been revoked, suspended or withdrawn, the driver must promptly notify the motor carrier that employs the driver.

Some of the offenses that disqualify a driver include driving a commercial motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, including driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.04 percent or higher, leaving the scene of an accident while operating a commercial vehicle and committing a felony involving the use of a commercial motor vehicle.

If an unqualified truck driver is involved in a truck accident, this information could be used to establish negligence for the driver and motor carrier. Moreover, victims of the incident might have a cause of action for the damages caused by the collision. Following a truck accident, thorough investigation could help uncover federal trucking regulation violations and help victims establish liability.

Source:, "ยง 391.15: Disqualification of drivers," accessed May 17, 2015

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