Drivers share the road with many types of vehicles, but traveling near large trucks and big rigs can be challenging and dangerous. As such, the federal government has put in place several truck safety laws to keep roads safe for all drivers and help prevent trucking accidents. Following are a few of the most important federal truck safety laws.
Truck driver fatigue is a huge problem and has caused many accidents. Federal regulations require that truck drivers take breaks and rest between trips. Additionally, drivers must adhere to service regulations to reduce the risk of driving while tired. Generally, truck drivers are not allowed to work more than 14 hours in a given day, they should not drive for longer than 11 hours and should take at least ten continuous hours off between driving shifts.
Federal laws also limit the weight of trucks that drive on interstate highways. Commercial trucks must generally weigh no more than 80,000 pounds. There are some exceptions for different types of trucks or double-trailers; however, trucks must have permits to drive based on their weight. You’ve likely seen the periodic truck weighing stations on the interstate. These weighing stations are in place to ensure that trucks stay within the legal limits, and serve to protect infrastructure and other drivers on the road.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has implemented cargo securement rules to ensure safety. Improperly secured cargo can shift, causing commercial vehicles to become unstable and impossible to control. Additionally, the cargo may fall from the vehicle and injure other motorists or create roadway hazards. All motor carriers are required to follow the cargo rules when loading their trucks. These rules include placement of items in the truck, securing the items, tie-downs for uncovered loads, along with other safety requirements.
It is important that commercial trucks are regularly inspected. Truck owners and companies are required to keep regular maintenance records and adhere to inspection schedules. Poor truck maintenance, such as mechanical breakdowns, brake issues, tire explosions, and signal light malfunctions can lead to dangerous situations and fatal crashes.
If you have been injured in a trucking accident, you need to contact an experienced truck accident attorney. Your lawyers can work diligently to gather evidence in your case, such as driver records, inspection and maintenance logs, black box records, and more. It is important to get this evidence before it is lost or destroyed. Contact the experienced trucking accident lawyers at Saladino & Schaaf today or call us at 270-444-0406 or 270-753-1529 to schedule a free consultation. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but you must act quickly. There are time limits on legal action.
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