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Federal truck driver clearinghouse hopes to save lives

While motorists may be somewhat familiar with driving next to tractor trailers on Georgia's busy roadways, they may not know that these massive vehicles are responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans every year. In 2014 alone, large trucks were involved in 3,744 motor vehicle fatalities and 135 of those deaths occurred in Georgia, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In an attempt to reduce the number of tractor trailer accidents, injuries and deaths throughtout the nation, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has organized a Commercial Driver's License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse program. The new database will give trucking companies a way to monitor truck drivers in order to ensure they have passed all of their drug and alcohol tests, and will track information on those truckers who do not pass the tests or who refused to take drug and alcohol screenings.

Prior to the creation of this program, trucking companies did not have access to a general database that contained this information. This led a number of companies to hire truckers that may have had past violations for drug and alcohol problems. Once the database is created, trucking companies would be able to search current screenings, driving violations and citations, as well as any other information put in by other companies regarding driver performance.

Negligent truck drivers are just one major cause of deadly truck accidents on the road. However, by removing unqualified, poorly trained, intoxicated and drugged truckers from behind the wheels of big rigs, many lives may be saved.

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