Accidents are an unfortunate fact of life in the transportation industry. With millions of trucks on the road every day, incidents will occur – and when they do, you need to be protected. Even though over half of accidents are due entirely to driver error, investigators will still expect you to demonstrate due diligence to reduce your own liability. Proper DOT driver qualification file management makes this far easier to achieve!
Why DQ File Management Matters
The Driver Qualification (DQ) file is a set of documents, mandated by the Department of Transportation regulation, demonstrating the fitness of a driver for their job. You must maintain a DQ file on all commercial drivers operating machinery weighing 10,001 pounds or more.
This file includes:
- Current driver’s license and status
- Motor vehicle records
- Credit and background check records
- Drug tests and results
- Driving record and previous violations if any
- Medical evaluations and certifications
- FMCSA clearinghouse queries
- And more
This file is your master record of a driver’s fitness – and your go-to source of proof that you have done your job properly as an employer. Without this information, you could become liable for drivers’ mistakes on the road.
For example, if you were unable to produce proof that you conducted background checks on your driver, that could be used against you if they had black marks on their past driving record. If they were not given regular physical checkups, or you lack documentation, a physical failing on the job could also become your legal responsibility.
In other words, good DOT driver qualification file management isn’t just the law, it’s also a very good idea. If your DQ files are well-maintained while being constantly reviewed and updated according to standards, your operation will be on much better legal footing should an accident occur on the road.
If not, your operation could end up on the hook for any and all damages done, and potentially face criminal action as well, depending on the severity of the situation. This must be avoided at all costs because a single case could be financially disastrous.
DOT Driver Qualification File Management
Vehicle Licensing Consultants specialize in helping professional fleets manage and maintain their fleets and drivers while staying fully within legal requirements. DQMConnect™ is your all-in-one tool for DQ file management! Click here to learn more, or request a free 30-day trial.