A devastating truck accident in early January has raised concerns about the driving skills of commercial truck drivers. The accident killed the driver, another trucker, and five children in a fiery crash that took place on Interstate 75 near Gainesville.
According to media reports, 59-year-old Steve Holland veered into a car, lost control, and then traveled through the center divider, striking a truck and a church van from Louisiana that was travelling to a theme park. Five children in the van lost their lives.
Mr. Holland had many tickets over the past 20 years—five in all, for violations such as driving an overloaded vehicle, speeding, driving an unsafe vehicle, and not carrying proof of insurance. He was ticketed in several states, including Florida, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
Truck Driver Safety
Before hiring a driver, a trucking company must perform a background check on an applicant. This check will look into the following:
- Motor vehicle records for the past three years for any state where the driver had a license or permit.
- The past three years of the driver’s safety performance. This will require speaking to previous employers and asking them about any crashes or other minor incidents.
- Alcohol or drug violations for the past three years, including any positive test results and whether they failed to participate in required alcohol or drug treatment programs.
Because Mr. Holland’s traffic violations all came before 2014, none of them would have come up in a recent background check. For example, a background check in 2018 would have only gone back to 2015, missing out on this erratic driving history. This accident raises the question of whether trucking companies should be required to look further back than three years when performing background checks. Unfortunately, the Department of Transportation does not require them to,, so more dangerous drivers could soon be entering the highways while operating a big rig.
Speak with a Miami Truck Accident Attorney
The recent crash that claimed six innocent lives was tragic, and we can’t guarantee that it won’t happen again sometime soon on one of Florida’s dangerous freeways. Big rigs continue to jam the roads, and innocent victims and their family members will pay the price when careless and inept drivers crash into them.
If you were injured in a truck accident, please contact us today. One of the attorneys at Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein will be happy to meet with you for a free initial consultation if you call 305-371-2692.