The industry of commercial trucking is heavily regulated at the federal and state level. The U.S. Department of Transportation is responsible for creating federal truck safety regulations on driver training, driver safety, truck company operations and vehicle maintenance and size. Staying updated on the new developments for all of these regulations can be difficult, and it is not uncommon for truck companies to fall behind in meeting these regulations– which unfortunately– translates to accidents on the road.
Regulating the trucking industry is important for several reasons. First, these regulations seek to ensure the safety of truck drivers and drivers on the road. By following these regulations, a truck driver eliminates the risk that he or she poses to other drivers on the road. Second, the regulations ensure the health of truck drivers on the road. If truck drivers work for too many hours in a row, they can become fatigued and incapable of precise driving on the road. Third, the regulations protect the quality of the roads and highways that people use on a daily basis. If there were no regulations governing the loads that trucks could carry, it would be easy for roads and highways to become torn up and unable to be used by the public.
It is important for trucking companies to familiarize themselves with the breadth of trucking regulations that currently exist. There are regulations in place for the following aspects of the trucking industry:
- Number of hours that drivers can work in a day and week
- Specialized licenses that truckers must obtain before operating a commercial vehicle
- Testing for drugs and alcohol in drivers that must be completed on a regular basis.
- Currently, drivers are able to drive up to 11 hours in a single day and work up to 14 hours in a single day. There is a 34-hour restart rule that allows a truck driver to utilize a 34-hour restart period once per week. One must also take rest breaks every eight hours in between shifts for at least 30 minutes.
Importance of Upholding Federal Trucking Safety Regulations
Trucking companies must abide by trucking regulations or run the risk substantial fines and civil punishment. The fact is that a failure to follow the regulatory controls can result in fines from the government, other penalties on the company and criminal sanctions in the worst cases. Truck companies and their drivers can also face lawsuits from those injured in the general public.
A truck crash accident lawyer can assist those who have been injured in a trucking accident in researching whether any federal truck safety regulations were violated. It is common for those who may be rear-ended by commercial trucks to assert a cause of action based in negligence. The fact that a truck driver failed to maintain the proper lookout or failed to properly control his or her vehicle are violations of federal regulations enforced to ensure safe driving amongst commercial truck drivers.
Lawsuits For Personal Injuries Stemming from Violations of Trucking Regulations
Those who have been harmed in truck accidents likely have a cause of action against truck companies. It is crucial to contact a truck accident lawyer early on in the case to gather evidence that will support a claim for compensation. A lawyer who has experience handling trucking collision cases can also help you determine whether it is best to sue the truck driver or the truck company. If the truck driver was working as an independent contractor, you would need to file a lawsuit against the trucker. A lawyer may determine that the trucking corporation can be held legally responsible and add them as a defendant in the case to maximize compensation. If there was an employer-employee relationship between the truck driver and the truck company, then you will need to file a lawsuit against the commercial truck company.Legal Representation When People Are Injured In Chicago Truck Accidents Due To Violation of Federal Regulations
If you have been injured in a truck accident, you deserve to receive compensation for the injuries that you have suffered. You can call one of our Chicago truck accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC today to schedule an initial consultation for your monetary claim and receive information about your legal options. You can move forward in your injuries with the help from Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC today. Contact us today!
For additional information on semi-truck regulations: