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Rules of the road different for truckers

We often discuss the catastrophic consequences that people suffer in the aftermath of a truck accident. Crashing with such an enormous vehicle typically leaves victims permanently and seriously injured; in the worst cases, they do not survive the accident.

Considering how much damage can be done in these accidents, it makes sense that truckers are held to a higher standard of safety on the road. If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious crash with a commercial vehicle recently, you should be aware of what truckers are expected to do to avoid accidents. There is a chance that a failure to comply with these rules could have contributed to your accident.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has several rules specific to the trucking industry that must be followed. For example:

  • All commercial truckers are prohibited from using a cellphone to talk, text, surf the Internet or take pictures while driving. They are allowed to use hands-free phones as long as they are close to the driver.
  • Truckers must comply with strict Hours of Service regulations and keep track of their schedule in log books to prevent drowsy driving.
  • As noted in our last blog, truckers are prohibited from driving if they have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 percent, which is lower than the 0.08 percent limit for other drivers.
  • Truckers are also expected to have additional certification (a commercial driver's license) to operate a commercial vehicle.
  • Truckers must also be determined to be fit to operate the vehicle through a physical exam and receive a medical certificate.

These rules don't necessarily apply to other drivers, but they can affect every person who shares the road with a tractor trailer. 

While all drivers are expected to be properly licensed and capable of operating a motor vehicle safely, a trucker's failure to comply with safety regulations and laws can be particularly destructive to others on the road. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, determining whether a trucking violation led to the crash or not can be crucial in helping you build a claim for compensation.

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