The Most Important Trucking Regulations for Preventing Accidents
While most truck drivers operate safely, some others violate regulations within the industry. These violations can quickly lead to catastrophic collisions. Unfortunately, even with many safe truck drivers, 4,136 people died in 2018 because of trucking accidents. These deaths involved 67% occupants in passenger cars and 15% pedestrians, motorcyclists, or bicyclists.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration offers regulations that are designed to keep all patrons on the road (including truck drivers) safe from harm. With the demand of quick delivery, regulations are often ignored more than they should be. Below, we discuss a few of the regulations you should know about and how to stay safe.
This blog will discuss:
- Hours of Service regulations
- Weight restrictions
- Maintenance requirements
Hours of Service Regulations
Fatigue can be a real problem for any driver on the road. When the driver is responsible for moving tens of thousands of pounds, becoming drowsy can lead to devastating results. As such, the trucking industry has regulations that limit how many hours a truck driver can work continuously and how many hours they can drive without taking a break.
The hours change based on whether the truck driver is carrying passengers or property. For instance, a property-carrying driver may drive for 11 hours after being off duty for 10 consecutive hours. However, he or she cannot drive beyond 14 hours of being on duty after 10 hours off duty. The driver must also take a 30-minute rest period following 8 cumulative hours of driving.
Drivers who work longer than they should quickly put others in danger because of the symptoms associated with fatigue.
Passenger and property-carrying drivers pull around tens of thousands of pounds; however, there are restrictions regarding how heavy the truck and trailer can be together. Weight restrictions are dependent on the number of axles a truck has, but no truck can exceed a maximum gross vehicle weight of 80,000 pounds.
Weight restrictions exist to prevent significant issues on the road. For instance, a trailer that is overloaded and is much heavier than it should be can turn over on a sharp turn. A truck that is too heavy may also have a harder time stopping at a higher rate of speed, making it a significant danger when approaching traffic.
Regular maintenance should be a top priority for all vehicles on the road. For large commercial trucks, it’s part of industry regulations and all trucks must undergo systematic inspection, repair, and maintenance. Parts can wear down quickly on a commercial truck, making it necessary to ensure any problems are addressed quickly.
Proper maintenance may help a truck driver identify issues such as worn brakes, low tire trade, steering system issues, hitch problems, and more. Maintenance can help a driver and the trucking company recognize what must be fixed prior to leaving for service. Without maintenance, though, all drivers on the road are in harm’s way.
Throughout Bryan and the entire state of Texas, you’ll find countless dangerous highways where large commercial trucks frequently travel. Unfortunately, this increases the potential risk of severe crashes occurring.
At The Payne Law Group, we’re committed to helping you if you suffer an injury because of negligence involving the truck driver or trucking company. Our team knows that it is a difficult time for you, and it’s crucial for you to have someone on your side to advocate for your rights to compensation and justice.
Our Bryan-College Station truck accident attorneys go above and beyond with your best interests in mind. We’ll be your voice against negligence, holding the responsible parties accountable for their actions that cause you harm. Let us help you through the process, use the evidence you collect to build a strong case on your behalf, and help you move forward in the most favorable way possible.
Call our firm today at (979) 300-7406 for a free consultation.