Commercial trucks are far more risky to drive than a regular vehicle. Their immense weight, size, and cargo loads make them difficult to control, which means that numerous regulations have been put into place by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in order to ensure the risk they carry is reduced as much as possible. However, these rules can be cumbersome, and some owners or operators may choose to ignore a law when they find the risk acceptable. If this violation then results in a serious trucking accident, you could be eligible to receive compensation for your losses.
COMMON FEDERAL TRUCKING REGULATIONS
Listing out every federal trucking regulation would be far too much for this blog, but let's take a closer look at a few of the more common rules that may be involved if you have been in an accident with a commercial truck.
Licensing Requirements: All truck drivers are required to have the appropriate special license for the truck they are driving from the motor vehicle regulatory department in their home state. If they are transporting anything restricted, such as anything explosive or any hazardous material, they must also have the license to do so.
Maximum Shifts: truck drivers are limited to a maximum shift length of 14 hours, and may only drive for a total of 11 hours during that time (three hours of breaks during the 14-hour period). Drivers must also take a minimum of a 30 minute break during the first eight hours of their shift, and then must have a 10 hour period between the end of one shift and the start of another.
Inspections and Logs: Drivers are required to log all of their working hours as well as any inspections they perform on their vehicles in a log book that will be regularly checked by law enforcement. Drivers are required to inspect their vehicle for any potential mechanical hazards before the start of every shift, after every break, and whenever they are changing shifts. Any maintenance performed as a result of these inspections should be logged.
Weight Limits: An overloaded truck is extremely dangerous, as they are prone to equipment failure, runaway, rollover, jackknifing, and loss of control. Therefore, trucks are regularly checked for their weight, including the weight of their cargo payload. Generally the weight limit depends on the size and type of truck as well as the license of the operator.
If you are injured as a result of a trucking accident, contact a skilled Altoona truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. At Goldstein, Heslop, Steele, Clapper, Oswalt, & Smith, we take great pride in helping those who have been injured in truck accidents fight for the justice they deserve. Our team has earned a record of outstanding success both in and out of the courtroom, including recovering millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. We work hard to use the evidence in your case to put the law on your side and obtain the compensation you deserve for your losses.
Get started with an initial consultation! Call Goldstein, Heslop, Steele, Clapper, Oswalt, & Smith today at 814-705-4741 and schedule your appointment!