Truck drivers have a responsibility to operate their vehicles in a safe and responsible manner. A truck driver can make one mistake and cause a catastrophic accident resulting in serious bodily injury and death. A truck accident attorney may be able to get you the compensation you deserve.
Commercial Driver’s Licenses
Commercial driver’s licenses are one of the most essential components of safety rules for truck drivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration oversees the following commercial licenses:
- School Bus endorsement
- Passenger Vehicle endorsement
- Hazardous Materials endorsement
- Longer Combination Vehicles
- CDL Class B
- CDL Class A
Regulations to Be Aware Of
Individual states such as Mississippi and Tennessee must test commercial drivers regarding their knowledge and safety skills. Truckers need to know the regulations associated with the commercial trucking business. The following are the main knowledge areas truck drivers are required to know:
- Vehicle inspection procedures
- Emergency techniques
- Driving in dangerous weather conditions
- Vehicle operating systems
- Safety control systems
- Proper operations regulations
The regulation and safety procedures are designed to reduce the likelihood of trucking accidents. Truck drivers have to be responsible and focused to prevent accidents from occurring. All truckers must undergo extensive training courses to earn the right to operate a commercial vehicle.
Truck drivers need this training so they can recognize dangerous conditions that may be associated with a particular truck or with the environment. One of the most important aspects of a truck driver’s training concerns the hour limitations on commercial trucking.
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Truck Driving and Service Hours
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) determines the time limits placed on commercial drivers. Also, commercial truck drivers must adhere to specific rest period regulations. In the past, truck accidents were often caused by truck drivers who never took rest breaks while driving.
Fatigue and other problems can cause truck accidents, resulting in serious bodily injury or death. Distracted driving and fatigued driving are two of the most common causes of truck accidents in the United States. The following rules are designed to reduce these problems:
- Limits on the number of days in a row a commercial trucker can operate a vehicle
- Minimum hours permitted between shift periods
- Time limitations regarding how long a truck driver can operate a vehicle before resting
- Limitations on a commercial truck driver’s shifts
Truck drivers do not need to drive for long periods of time without taking a break. Digital clocks and other safety features built into commercial trucks reduce the likelihood that truck drivers can falsify documents to continue driving. In some cases, commercial trucks will be inoperable during required rest periods. These safety features save lives and prevent truck accidents from occurring.
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The Physical Condition of Truck Drivers in the United States
Truck drivers can be limited by health problems and other complications. Commercial drivers need to meet physical requirements to be able to operate their vehicles in a safe manner. Drivers cannot operate vehicles if they do not meet the standards set by the FMCSA.
Commercial drivers may suffer from physical conditions that cause drowsiness and other symptoms that can make automobile accidents more likely under certain circumstances. Drivers also need to refrain from using drugs and alcohol while they are operating their vehicles. Any truck driver with a blood alcohol content of 0.04% or greater violates federal law.
Commercial trucking companies may test their drivers for drug and alcohol use.
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Commercial Vehicle Inspections
Poorly maintained trucks pose a danger to all other drivers on the road. Inspections are designed to detect mechanical problems before they can give rise to accidents that cause serious bodily injury or death. Most commercial truck drivers must complete daily, weekly, and monthly vehicle checks to ensure their vehicles are in good operating condition.
Tire pressure, steering columns, and brakes are some of the common components examined during these vehicle inspections. The written reports of these inspections are important to any truck accident case. A truck accident attorney can subpoena these records or obtain them during the discovery phase of a civil lawsuit.
A party may have been negligent by not repairing a vehicle if they knew a mechanical failure was likely to occur after performing an inspection. It is possible that some truck drivers may switch vehicles during their work periods. All drivers must examine the driver inspection reports associated with each individual vehicle.
The vehicle must be repaired if a driver notes a problem with the inspection report. Individual truck owners and commercial truck companies may be liable if a mechanical problem caused a truck accident.
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Negligent Hiring of Truck Drivers
Commercial trucking companies must perform background screening and other procedures to ensure that the drivers they hire are responsible and law-abiding. Some commercial drivers may have past DUI convictions, and the trucking company needs to make sure that any driver they hire will not abuse alcohol or drugs in the future.
A commercial trucking company also needs to identify drivers who may have had their commercial driver’s license suspended in the past. Individual motor carriers must set forth standards that adhere to the standards set by federal law. The majority of motor carriers have stricter standards that ensure drivers will be responsible and safe while on the job.
Negligent supervision is also an important element of the safety rules that can prevent truck accidents from occurring. Training and supervision by commercial trucking companies must be focused, consistent, and effective. Truck drivers need to be trained to handle different issues that can arise in various regions of the United States.
Alterations in altitude and weather conditions may cause an experienced truck driver to cause a truck accident.
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Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC is one of the most prestigious law firms in the Memphis Tri-State Area. We have decades of experience representing clients who suffered injuries in truck accidents. Our attorneys focus on providing exceptional legal representation to every client.
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