Yes. Federal regulations set the minimum general requirements to be a trucker. Under those regulations, you are qualified to be one if you meet all of these rules:

  • You are at least 21 years old.
  • You can read and speak English well enough to talk with the general public, understand traffic signs and signals, and create reports and records.
  • You can safely operate a commercial motor vehicle.
  • You have been found physically qualified by a certified medical examiner as required by the regulations.
  • You have a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL) issued by a single state (this makes it easier to track safety violations).
  • You gave your trucking company employer a report containing all your traffic law violations for the last 12 months.
  • You are not disqualified to drive due to license suspension or certain criminal offenses, including alcohol and drug related charges.
  • You passed a road test or proved to your employer’s satisfaction you had either a CDL or passed a prior road test in the last three years.

These Regulations Are Not As Rigorous As They Sound—And Sometimes Ignored

This list of rules may seem like it provides a lot of assurance that truckers will be safe on the road. Sadly, all too often long hours and the overwhelming need to meet a deadline can overcome a trucker’s wealth of safety training and cause him to forget his enormous responsibility to keep everyone safe while driving his powerful machine. Worse, there are dishonest truckers who drive when they don't meet the qualifications, and there are irresponsible trucking companies who know it, or should know it, but let them do it anyway.

If you have been hurt—or, worse, if you have lost a loved one—in one of these 18-wheeler accidents in Spartanburg, Greenville, Union, or beyond, then you’ve probably spent restless nights wondering whether a trucker should be behind the wheel. We want to remind you that you have rights. A skilled trucking lawyer may be able to use these federal safety regulations to help make a compelling case to maximize your compensation, which may include punitive damages. Getting a full and fair settlement or trial award may be the best measure of justice you can achieve, since the trucker will most likely get a traffic ticket for a few hundred bucks at worst.

But obtaining compensation in these cases is not easy. Trucking cases are not your typical car crash—they can be far more complex due to extensive safety regulations that can impact your case, the severity of your injuries, and many times, an insurance company that fights you tooth and nail. For more information, check out our free report on South Carolina traffic accident cases, which includes a chapter on 18-wheeler crashes.

Please contact us when you’re ready to discuss your rights and learn how we can build a strong case for you.  Get your questions answered in a free, no pressure strategy session with a Spartanburg, SC semi-traileraccident attorney. Call toll free at 888-230-1841 or fill out a Get Help Now form.


Rob Usry
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Rob is a Spartanburg personal injury lawyer. Rob also practices as a workers' compensation attorney.