Posted On: December 3, 2008 by Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorney

New rules for medically unfit truck and bus drivers

Federal regulators are now taking steps to get medically unfit truck and bus drivers off the road, in an effort to limit dangerous auto accidents on our nation's highways.

According to this article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration approved a rule that states must combine commercial truck and bus drivers' licenses and their medical examination certificates into a single electronic record.

This rule will make it easier to check whether drivers have met medical requirements to operate commercial vehicles.

The administration has also proposed creating a registry of medical examiners qualified to award certificates to drivers. Examiners who do not meet minimum standards could be barred from issuing fitness-to-drive certificates.

According to the article, agency officials were reprimanded at a House hearing earlier this year for ignoring the problem of medically unfit drivers despite repeated warnings from Congress.

The rule finalized on December 1 addresses some of a series of recommendations made by the National Transportation Safety Board in 2001 in response to a motorcoach accident two years earlier in New Orleans that killed 22.

In the New Orleans bus accident, NTSB said the bus driver suffered life-threatening kidney and heart conditions but still held a valid commercial license and certificate saying he was fit to drive. A passenger recounted seeing the driver slumped in his seat moments before the crash.

Tractor-trailer and bus drivers have suffered seizures, heart attacks, or unconscious spells while behind the wheel. Such illnesses have been a significant factor in thousands of serious truck accidents.

If you or a loved one have suffered injuries because of driver negligence, you have the right to recover compensation for expenses and losses as well as the damage and pain it caused to your life. If the driver of the truck or bus is determined to be at fault, then the victims’ families would be entitled to significant compensation. Both the driver and the trucking/bus company would be held liable for the Pennsylvania auto accident, injuries, and any fatalities.

The Philadelphia Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Cherry, Fieger, and Marciano, LLP have the experience and knowledge that are necessary to represent clients involved in these types of accidents. Please contact Cherry, Fieger, and Marciano, LLP today for a free consultation.