If you’re driving down the road in your small personal car, a roaring semi-truck pulling up behind you can be a little intimidating. You might wonder about the driver’s experience, or his or her competency behind the wheel. A semi’s enormous size and weight has the potential to cause vast damage in the case of a crash, and many safety measures have been implemented to decrease that chance. Knowing the rules and regulations required by law that a truck driver must obey can be reassuring and ease your mind about sharing the road with such enormous vehicles.
To be hired as a truck driver, you must obtain proper licensing and training. A variety of requirements, including having a good driving record and passing several tests, are necessary to get your commercial driving license. This can weed out drivers with poor driving history or those not responsible enough to handle such large equipment.
Trucks must weigh less than 80,000 pounds by federal law. Roads can be gradually damaged by too much weight, and this can cause safety hazards and extra costs to state infrastructure that is easily preventable by mandatory stops at weigh stations. A lighter truck also poses less of a threat to the cars around it, whose smaller frames and lighter weights make them more vulnerable in an accident with a truck.
Service Hour Limits
Fatigue can be a huge problem among regular drivers, causing deadly crashes that could have been avoided with a small time to rest. Since truck drivers are constantly on the road, it is essential they get enough rest to drive safely without being a potential threat to themselves and other drivers. A driver is restricted to a specific number of hours per day and week he or she can operate a truck.
Alcohol and Drug Screenings
These are mandatory to ensure drivers are not under the influence of any substance while operating a truck. If a crash is caused under these circumstances and damages and injuries are incurred, the driver may face charges as well as claims for compensation from victims.
The trucking industry hauls everything from soda products to construction equipment across the country. Rules for properly securing each type of cargo are in place to ensure optimal safety of others on the road.
Despite these safety regulations, accidents still occur because of a driver or company’s negligence. If you are injured in a truck accident and the other party is guilty of causing the crash, you may be able to file a claim. Discuss the situation with a lawyer to see if you’re entitled to compensation for your injuries.