Did you know that a truck driver can never exceed the speed limit, never drive while distracted or intoxicated, never fail to use turn signals, and always come to a complete stop at stop signs and still be in violation of multiple laws? That’s because the trucking industry must comply with guidelines established the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and those guidelines are much stricter than the ones that people driving cars, trucks, and SUVs must follow.
Two significant differences include:
- Truck drivers must limit their hours behind the wheel—Truck drivers face strict regulations regarding how long they can drive in a single stretch or in a multi-day period. They’re legally required to take regular rest periods and can only drive 14 consecutive hours after 11 hours of off-duty time.
- Truck drivers must have BACs of 0.02% or less—Unlike the legal limit of 0.08% BAC for other drivers, truck drivers have almost a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol consumption. That means truck drivers can be well under the legal limit and still be cited if there’s even a trace of alcohol in their bloodstreams.
- Truck drivers must pass physical examinations every two years—In addition to requiring specialized licenses and training certificates, truck drivers also must pass physical exams that prove they’re capable of driving 80,000-pound vehicles on public roadways.
These are just a few of the extra requirements truck drivers must abide by to legally drive their vehicles. That means that when they’re involved in crashes, more research and investigation must be done to determine if they were in violation of the law. And if they were, they can be held liable for any injuries others suffer.