Fake Licenses, Real Pain: The Risks and Results of Truck License Fraud
Everyone remembers his or her drivers’ education course. The drudgery of the after-school lectures, the monotonous (yet horrific) videos, the anxiety when getting behind the wheel, the hours and hours spent racking up “drive-time” with your permit—these are all things that no licensed driver will ever forget. However, no matter how traumatizing your education was, it was all necessary to teach you the essentials of vehicle and driver safety. In short, having the knowledge and experience needed to get a license is what made you the driver you are today.
Truck drivers are required to go through a similar education program to be licensed to drive big rigs. In fact, driving a large truck takes significant skill and rigorous training to master. When truckers get behind the wheel without sufficient education and experience, they are more likely to cause a major collision.
This being said, did you know that licensing fraud has become a major problem within the trucking industry?
Safety advocates have estimated that there are tens of thousands of truckers on the road today with fraudulent licenses. Commercial driving license fraud has been an ongoing problem that seems to be getting worse after the industry deregulated over twenty years ago.
The federal government reports that numerous truckers are carrying fraudulent licenses obtained through a variety of schemes and under questionable circumstances. There have been various problems over the years, including license-for-sale scams, inadequate third-party testing, falsified tests, and forged medical certificates. Let’s look at how a few of these scams work:
- Third-party ride-along certifications. Licenses are routinely given to mediocre drivers by third-party “instructors” who ride with the driver for a short distance (or not—some may just issue the license to save time) and then issue the certification. Even though the driver may not know how to react to avoid a collision or may not know how to operate the truck properly, the instructor will still certify the driver is ready for the road.
- Third-party exam falsifications. Recently, one truck-driving school in Georgia was caught making a deal with a third-party tester to falsify exams for 623 students. When Georgia officials re-tested these truckers, who had already been driving large trucks on the road, only 142 qualified to keep their licenses. Similar fraudulent examinations have been reported all over the country.
- Third-party medical history fraud. Perhaps one of the most alarming issues of these bogus licensing practices is that examiners tend to overlook medical problems. Drivers whose dangerous medical conditions could cause them to lose control while driving are given a safety pass and are able to obtain their licenses.
Knowing these frightening facts, are you thinking twice about your safety when it comes to driving past large tractor-trailers?
Risky Consequences and Hopeful Options
In spite of the fact that it is illegal to drive a truck without a proper license, too many truckers risk the consequences to avoid proper training. The problem is, these risks are by no means limited to affecting just their lives. Unskilled, improperly trained, or medically incapable truckers pose a big problem for you and other drivers. Truck drivers with fake licenses have been responsible for numerous large truck accidents over the last several years, including some crashes that resulted in fatalities.
If you have been injured by a negligent or poorly trained truck driver, you have options to protect your future. Tractor-trailer accident cases involve complex issues and confusing liability questions. However, an experienced truck accident attorney can help you make sense of it all. Attorney Steve Lee has spent decades honing his skills to ensure his proficiencies accurately drive your claim toward success. Call our office today at 713-921-4171 or 800-232-3711 to schedule your FREE consultation. You may be able to hold the trucking company and driver responsible for your injuries, and you could be entitled to injury compensation.