Truck accidents in the U.S. kill and injure thousands of people each year. Because of the size and weight of the trucks and the freight they carry, even small accidents can result in serious injuries. Studies show that many different factors can lead to truck accidents, such as a truck driver rushing to meet a deadline or driver fatigue. Mechanical failure, overloading, and unrealistic schedules also contribute heavily to accidents.
Federal and state law requires truck drivers to meet certain safety regulations. A couple basic federal regulations include:
- Age: Truck drivers crossing state lines must be at least 21 years old. Truck drivers driving within a state must be at least 18 years old.
- Language: Truck Drivers must speak and understand English and all road signs.
- Maintenance of Truck: A driver must make sure that his truck is in good operating condition, and all parts are in good working order. In addition, a driver must make sure that their emergency equipment is in good working order at all times.
- Responsibility: A truck driver is not allowed to drive more than 11 hours following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Studies have shown that the longer a truck driver goes without rest, the more likely an accident is to occur due to fatigue. A driver is required to keep logs proving that they have not violated this regulation.
- Substances: Truck drivers may not have any alcohol in their system while driving or while physically operating the truck.
- Valid License: A truck driver must have a valid commercial driver’s license issued by a state or jurisdiction.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
The injuries and fatalities resulting from the negligent operation of large trucks leave families confused and angry. Contacting a lawyer as soon as possible can help determine the rights of victims and their families. Delays may prevent you from pursuing your case to its full potential; contact an experienced injury attorney at the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Their mission is to reduce injuries and fatalities from accidents involving large trucks and buses. Visit their site to learn more about the federal rules and regulations involving these large vehicles.
Title 49 of the Federal Code
Title 49 of the Federal Code concerns federal transportation law. Visit this site for the law in its entirety. Chapter 3 is most relevant to truck accidents, particularly §392 and §395.