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Laws Changing for Deaf Truck Drivers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets out numerous rules that regulate the commercial trucking industry. These regulations are meant to keep truck drivers and all other motorists on the road safe from accidents and injuries. Like any other law, these regulations may change from time to time, and these changes are very important for accident victims who may be pursuing a legal claim against a potentially negligent truck driver. If you have suffered injury in a truck accident, you always want to make sure you consult with an experienced Fayette County truck accident attorney who is familiar with these trucking laws.

Laws regarding hearing loss and truckers

FMCSA regulation 49 C.F.R. §391.41(b)(11) requires one of the following from all commercial truck drivers:

  • The ability to hear a forced whisper from five feet away or more, or

  • No hearing loss in his better ear over 40 decibels at 500 Hz, 1,00 Hz, and 2,000 Hz, whether or not he uses a hearing aid.

The National Association for the Deaf (NAD) has long fought this regulation, stating it rules out numerous capable truck drivers since hearing loss does not necessarily affect safe driving abilities. In recent years, NAD requested exemptions for 40 individuals with hearing loss based on completely safe driving records and abilities. The FMCSA recently granted these exemptions, likely opening the door for many other hearing-impaired people to obtain a commercial driver’s license. If the law officially changes, hearing loss will no longer be considered an automatic factor in determining negligence in the case of an accident.

Contact a Fayette County truck accident attorney for a free consultation

If you have been involved in an accident with a large commercial truck, you should always hire an experienced truck accident lawyer who is familiar with all changes in the FMCSA regulations and relevant laws. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Shane Smith are constantly aware of changes in trucking laws so they are able to handle your case in the best way possible. If you have been injured, call our office today at (770) 487-8999 to schedule your free consultation.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia