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FMCSA database to launch by end of year

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will be launching its new drug and alcohol clearinghouse by the end of this year.

Drivers in Memphis know the dangers they face on area roads every day. From hazardous road conditions to reckless drivers, distracted driving to drunk driving, the risks are endless. Accidents that result from these situations can leave innocent victims struggling to recover from serious injuries or find family members grieving the loss of loved ones.

Dangers of accidents involving large trucks

Motor vehicle accidents involving tractor trailers or other large commercial vehicles can be some of the most dangerous. Impaired operation by truck drivers is a serious issue. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is planning to launch a new database as part of its drug and alcohol clearinghouse rule by the middle of December this year according to This effort is designed to directly address the issue of impaired operation among commercially licensed drivers.

The Commercial Carrier Journal notes that the database will be used as a repository for critical information about commercial drivers. This includes the results of drug and alcohol testing. Every employer will be required to review drivers' records in a pre-hire screening process. Every driver must successfully complete substance testing before being allowed to be hired for a driving job. For drivers that own and operate their own trucks, third-parties must be hired to manage the database review and substance test reporting.

Drugs and alcohol both concerns to FMCSA

While drunk driving gets a lot of attention and is indeed a high risk factor to be addressed, drugged driving is also of concern. Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration issued a guide to pharmaceutical companies to help them identify which of their drugs could result in driving impairment. The FMCSA database will focus equally on impairment by drugs as well as alcohol.

A look at the statistics

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration maintains detailed records about traffic accidents in the United States. This includes data about crashes involving large trucks and drunk drivers. From 2011 to 2012, the number of vehicular fatalities attributed to drunk driving accidents involving large trucks rose by 86 percent nationally. In 2011, 43 people lost their lives in these types of accidents. In 2012, 80 people perished in these types of accidents.

Important information for Tennessee residents

Motor vehicle accidents are a sad reality on the roads. In some cases, crashes can be avoided with defensive driving techniques. However, there are times when this is not possible and innocent people are left suffering. If this happens, victims should always seek help from an attorney.

Keywords: truck, accident, injury