Truck Drivers Must Follow More Traffic Laws Than Other Drivers

Truck Drivers Must Follow More Traffic Laws Than Other Drivers

Did you know that a truck driver who never exceeds the speed limit, never drives while distracted or intoxicated, never fails to use turn signals, and always comes to a complete stop at stop signs may still be in violation of multiple laws?

That’s because people and parties in the trucking industry must also comply with guidelines established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and those rules are much stricter than the ones that people driving cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs must follow.

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 up to 14 consecutive hours after first spending at least 11 hours off duty.
  • Truck drivers can be cited for consuming even small amounts of alcohol. Unlike the legal limit of 0.08% blood alcohol content (BAC) for other drivers, truck drivers can be cited if their BAC reaches 0.04%. That means truck drivers can be well under the legal limit for other drivers 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.
  • Truck drivers must obtain specialized training and certifications. In addition to obtaining commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs), truck drivers transporting hazardous materials must receive Haz Mat endorsements on their licenses, while truck drivers driving tankers or oversized loads must receive tank vehicle (N) endorsements or oversize/overweight loads (OS/OW) permits.

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 therefore acting negligently at the time of the collision. And if they were, they can be held liable for any injuries others suffer.

Were you or someone you love hurt in a truck crash? If so, contact the Nashville truck accident attorneys at Ponce Law today for a free consultation.

Originally published March 30, 2020.

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