Being a truck driver means you have the ability and skills necessary to drive large tractor-trailers safely. There are special licensing requirements and drivers must keep on top of changes in the trucking laws. One of the things that has happened in recent years is government regulations concerning various aspects of the profession. Where once drivers were left to their schedules and standards, now the government has stepped in to set up some standards. When companies get caught not enforcing the rules, they can get fined, and truckers can lose their license. Take a look at some of the rules the government has put into place and the reason behind them.
Along with obtaining a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), truck drivers must take and pass a physical exam. The exam must be repeated every two years, and if there is a condition that prevents the driver from being medically cleared, they will have to get treatment or rectify the situation before being cleared for duty.
Alcohol and Substance Abuse
A truck driver may, at any time, be subject to random drug or alcohol testing if there is a history of substance abuse in the past. A driver is not allowed to operate a truck with a Blood Alcohol Content higher than 0.02 percent. This means any alcoholic beverage would be enough to restrict a driver from being able to take the wheel. As far as drugs are concerned, if a driver has a prescription for a medication that is known to impair judgment or cause drowsiness, like Xanax or Ambien, the driver is prohibited from taking the drugs within a specific period of driving.
Hours in Service
In the past, truck drivers used to be given deadlines to get a haul to its destination, and many companies used to issue bonuses if the loads were dropped earlier. This rewarded those drivers who drove without a proper amount of sleep. Driver fatigue used to be one of the most common causes of truck accidents, and as such, federal regulations have now imposed a limit on active driving hours and how many hours of rest are required. Drivers are currently limited to working 11 hours a day before they must take 10 hours off. Drivers must keep a log of these hours, and most companies have installed GPS units in semis to ensure drivers are reporting their on and off-duty hours honestly.
Being a truck driver can be a lucrative profession. If you need the help of a truck accident lawyer due to an accident, you should find one that is well-qualified in your industry.