Majority of truck accidents happen due to negligence and aggressive driving of truck operators. Truck agencies and their insurance adjusters never wish to give full compensation to the victims who have lost everything due to the fatal accident. Victims as well as truck operators must be aware of basic laws associated to the truck accident lawyers and the accident cases. Know from the experienced Houston 18 wheeler accident lawyers about the required laws.
Truck drivers have to follow specific rules.
These rules are designed to ensure safety of public and truck operators. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or FMCSA have set these rules:
Commercial driver’s license:
An individual must have commercial driver’s license if he/she has to operate a tractor trailer or commercial truck. Trucker employees should obey the rules. They must get adequate training and test their driving ability before operating a commercial truck.
Hours of Service:
Truck drivers work for a specific amount of hours per day. They are not supposed to exceed that time limit. Over working leads to extreme fatigue and they can meet an accident. Truck companies and truck operators have to maintain service records.
The negative part is that the truck drivers and the company falsify service record and show that they are abiding by the legal service hours. According to Houston 18 wheeler accident lawyers, truck drivers should remain eight consecutive hours out of driving before starting a new shift. A driver can remain on duty for 15 hours consecutively to the max. But, they must not remain at the wheel over 12 hours.
But, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration let the drivers work for 14 hours consecutively with 11 continuing hours at the steering. Then, they are supposed to take 10 hours of rest.
Truck drivers have to undergo specific tests and need operational approval from physicians. If they are diagnosed with critical medical condition that cannot be cured, they may not get allowance to drive a truck.
For example, if a medical test discovers that a truck driver is prone to issues like seizures or has heart diseases, or cannot see or hear properly, and other physical or mental problems, then he/she will not be allowed to operate a commercial truck. It is for the protection of both driver and public on road.
Inspection is a must before every work shift. It is mandatory to avoid any upcoming accident related to truck part failure, tire blowout, brake failure, etc. Truck companies must conduct truck inspections on a regular basis.
Under the guidelines of federal regulations, drivers must inspect their specific truck before starting a journey which involve tires, steering, wheels, coupling devices, axles, brakes, airlines, compressors, and fuel systems.
At every journey’s end, inspection of the particular truck should be done. If the result reveals any fault in any equipment, then the driver needs to report it to the truck agency without delay. The report acts as a solid evidence that can be established during the ongoing case of a truck accident. In case, if the truck agency fails to fix the defect before the trip, then it can be easily held liable for the wreck. Houston 18 wheeler accident lawyers can present the proof at the court to strengthen the case.
Weight and size of the load:
Truck drivers are supposed to stick to the guidelines concerning weight and size of the load. Usually, a commercial truck can haul maximum 80,000 pounds. Overloaded trucks are prone to accident. Trucks can be of different sizes and hold different amounts of cargo. These vehicles should stop at weighing stations for making sure that they are abiding by regulations of weight and size. According to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, 80,000 pounds have been set as the legal limit for any vehicle along with its cargo.
Again, the Texas Department of Public safety comprises of a Commercial Vehicle Enforcement service for working to maintain safety of commercial vehicles. The responsibilities involve weighing and checking of commercial trucks.
Distracted and intoxicated driving:
Unlike car or bike drivers, truck drivers can use smartphone for calls or SMS during driving. It is considered as violation of law. Truck operators must use hands-free communication gadgets during their trip. But, many use hands while picking up a phone and surfing messages, etc. Distraction can happen while talking over phone during driving.
Moreover, there are many cases found where the truck drivers were under the influence of medicine, alcohol, drugs, etc. There are tougher rules for truck drivers related to drunk driving. The legal limit is set to BAC or Blood Alcohol Content to 0.04 percent. But, for passenger car operators, it is 0.08 percent.
These are the basic laws that truck drivers and assistants, and common people must know.