Yes, it is possible to lose your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) after an accident, depending on the circumstances and severity. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which regulates commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operations, oversees regulations that govern the qualifications and disqualifications for CDL holders.

As there are thousands of commercial vehicles on the road, and despite drivers driving carefully, collisions are sometimes inevitable. Truck accidents may cause devastating injuries, which can result in hospitalization or death.

An experienced San Antonio truck accident lawyer can provide personalized guidance for commercial drivers and help protect their rights and interests following a truck accident. They also help drivers involved in accidents understand the laws about their CDL.

CDL Driving Record

When will a CDL holder be disqualified from operating a CMV?

A CDL holder can be disqualified from operating a CMV for various reasons, according to the FMCSA. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Involvement in a fatal accident while operating a CMV.
  • Committing a “major offense” while operating a CMV, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, leaving the scene of an accident, or using a CMV to commit a felony.
  • Violating an “out-of-service” order.
  • Accumulating too many “serious traffic violations” within a specified timeframe.

If a CDL holder is disqualified from operating a CMV, they may lose their CDL and be prohibited from driving a commercial vehicle for a certain period of time, depending on the nature of the disqualifying event. In some cases, the disqualification may be temporary, while in other cases, it may be permanent.

How to maintain your CDL driving record

Maintaining a clean driving record is essential to ensure compliance with driving record requirements for CDL. Some tips for maintaining a good CDL driving record can include:

  • Follow traffic laws and regulations
  • Stay updated on regulations
  • Practice defensive driving
  • Maintain your vehicle
  • Plan your trips and routes for sufficient rest breaks and comply with HOS regulations.

How many accidents can a CDL driver have?

The number of accidents a CDL driver can have without consequences depends on various factors, including the severity and nature of the accidents, the driver’s history of accidents, and applicable laws and regulations.

Generally, CDL drivers are held to higher standards compared to other drivers due to the increased risks associated with operating a commercial vehicle. There are also more stringent reporting rules anytime a commercial driver is involved in an accident. 

A CDL holder is required to report accidents that result in deaths, injuries requiring immediate medical treatment, or disabling damage to a vehicle to their employer within 24 hours of the accident, according to FMCSA regulations. 

If a CDL holder is driving as an independent contractor, the reporting requirements for accidents may vary depending on the specific requirements outlined in their contract. Nevertheless, like commercial drivers who work for an employer, contractors are still held to the same standard and could face licensure consequences depending on their history and severity of accidents.

What are the consequences that a CDL holder may face?

In addition to reporting requirements, accidents can affect a CDL holder’s driving record and employment status. Depending on the circumstances, a CDL holder may face consequences such as:

  • License suspension or revocation of their CDL: If a CDL holder is involved in multiple or serious accidents, they may face suspension or revocation of their CDL by the state licensing agency or the FMCSA.
  • Employment termination: Employers may have policies regarding accidents, and multiple accidents or serious accidents may result in termination or other employment consequences for a CDL holder.
  • Increased insurance premiums: Accidents can result in increased insurance premiums for CDL holders, impacting their employment opportunities and financial situation.

Need legal help? Contact Khattar Law, P.C.

We are an experienced law firm that has served the needs of those involved in accidents for nearly 30 years. We help our clients navigate all facets of the legal system following a truck accident, including aiding commercial drivers in protecting their licenses.

If you are involved in an accident while driving a commercial vehicle in San Antonio, Texas, consulting with an experienced lawyer can help you understand your legal options, protect your rights, and potentially safeguard your livelihood as a commercial truck driver. Our dedicated team of attorneys can help defend you against CDL violation charges, as well as other liability claims. 

Schedule a free case consultation by calling 210-791-0817 or filling out our contact form online if you require help to maintain your CDL privileges.