Leaving the Scene of an Accident as a CDL Holder
For most Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders, the license is not just something they earn “for fun.” Although they may also find the position enjoyable, and many do, CDL holders go to great lengths to obtain their licensing, and it becomes a part of their finances as well as their way of living. The validity of their license directly impacts their ability to obtain and maintain employment. Drivers are held to a higher standard, and many traffic violations that may result in a lighter punishment under other circumstances can disqualify a CDL holder, such as leaving the scene of an accident, for example. A license disqualification interrupts the earning capacity of the driver, leaving many seeking other forms of gainful employment.
Why Do People Leave The Scene?
It is never a good idea to abandon the site of an accident, for any number of reasons. First off, regardless of driver’s license class, it is against the law, potentially resulting in jail time, hefty penalties, and loss of licensure. However, you must also consider the impact of the other driver and their medical condition, your insurance rate hikes, and you open yourself up for a personal injury lawsuit. A general rule of thumb, it is a good idea to stay where you are. However, many do choose to flee, citing the following reasons:
- Fear or panic,
- Lack of insurance, or
- Ignorance of the accident.
Commercial Driver Versus Daily Driver
As previously mentioned, commercial drivers must uphold a higher standard to maintain their driving privileges. Here is a comparison of the charge of fleeing the scene of an accident for both daily drivers and CDL holders:
Class D license holders (vehicles less than 16,000 lbs): In an accident involving property damage, being found guilty of fleeing the scene may result in up to one year in jail in addition to a fine of up to $2,500. Only if property damage is valued higher than $1,000 is your license suspended.
CDL holders: Leaving the site results in many of the same punishments, as well as disqualification of the license for at least 12 months for the first violation whether you are driving a commercial vehicle or your personal vehicle. The second conviction disqualifies the CDL for life.
Protect Your Career
Your license is how you provide a substantial portion of your income. Loss of this revenue often results in severe financial hardship for many Americans today. If your license is on the line and you would like to discuss your options, consult an attorney today. If you would like to speak with a Glendale Heights, IL CDL defense attorney, contact Stringini & Garvey, P.C. today by calling 630-834-9595 today to schedule your free and confidential consultation. Not only are we proud to answer questions for those in the Glendale Heights area, but also Lombard, Maywood, Bloomingdale, and all surrounding Chicagoland area.