The commercial trucking industry has a major presence on US roads and highways. Because of the volume of vehicles it puts on the roads, as well as their size, weight, and the speed at which those vehicles travel, the industry is regulated by the US government. These regulations are aimed at increasing safety and minimizing the amount of accidents, deaths, and injuries that occur as a result of commercial trucking.
There are extensive regulations that apply to both the trucking companies and the drivers they employ. The fact is, however, that many of these rules aren’t strictly followed and noncompliance can lead to unfortunate outcomes, including injuries and death.
We’ve listed some of the most common violations below.
A tired driver is a dangerous driver. The regulatory bodies know this and that’s why they limit the number of hours a truck driver can be on the road without a break for rest. Many drivers do not take their mandated breaks, however, because it slows down their travel time and cuts into their pay. A driver who is sleep-deprived and hasn’t taken the time for food and bathroom breaks is much more likely to be distracted and to cause accidents.
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal and incredibly risky. Vision, alertness, and judgment are all severely impaired by inebriation, vastly increasing the likelihood that an accident may occur. This is why regulations are in place that require trucking companies to test new drivers and to periodically test their existing workforce for signs of alcohol and drug use. Despite the fact that they could face heavy fines and lawsuits, many trucking companies do not regularly perform these required tests, and in doing so, they put every other road user at increased risk.
Trucks are enormous and heavy machines, and their safe operation depends on their being checked thoroughly and regularly. A worn-down brake pad or misaligned steering column could spell disaster if it’s not caught and corrected right away. Regulations state that drivers must inspect and perform maintenance on their vehicles on a daily basis. Many don’t, however, and for this oversight, they can be subject to fines and other consequences.
If you have been injured in an accident involving a commercial truck, you need a lawyer who can help you navigate your options. Contact Duncan Firm to schedule a consultation with a lawyer experienced in auto accidents and personal injury.