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Do Different Laws Apply to Truck Accidents?

Truck driving on highway

Yes. Aside from following the same laws as other motorists, truck drivers must likewise follow state and federal laws that govern their activities. Additionally, industry rules control the operations of truckers and trucking companies.

A lot of these rules conflict with their efforts to maximize profit. As such, they may end up cutting corners to lower their operating costs. In such cases, truckers or their employers violate these rules or fail to acknowledge a violation. The FMCSA governs these specific rules and regulations.

It’s also crucial to note that these rules don’t apply to private passenger vehicles and certain light trucks.

Special Laws Applicable to Commercial Truck Drivers

The most common trucking industry violations involve failure to follow hours of service laws. The FMCSA limits the consecutive hours truckers can drive and the number of hours they can drive in a week.

Truck drivers must also document their driving hours. But some of them falsify their records. Hours of service laws reduce the incidence of driver fatigue, which is a leading cause of truck crashes.

Some laws also govern the integrity of the trucking industry’s hiring process. At the very least, trucking companies must ensure that all the drivers they hire are qualified and properly trained.

Likewise, the hiring process should involve rigorous checks of medical histories, driving records, and drug tests.

Also, other laws are applicable to the actual trucks that trucking companies operate. Companies must ensure that the trucks undergo regular inspections and maintenance. Letting drivers operate a truck that’s not in proper working condition is a violation of federal laws.

Truckers and their employers must likewise ensure that trucks are loaded properly and that their weight is balanced. If the cargo isn’t secured or if it’s too heavy, this could result in a preventable truck accident.

How The Different Laws for Truckers Impact Liability in Truck Accidents

When truck drivers are fatigued from driving for hours on end without sufficient rest, they are more likely to fall asleep or get distracted while driving, which can result in an accident.

Similarly, truckers who get behind the wheel while drugged or drunk put the lives of other road users at risk of injury or death.

The purpose of the rules that apply to drivers and trucking companies is to help ensure the safety of the public and the motorists that truckers share the road with.

When a truck driver or their employer violates these laws and causes an accident, the trucker, trucking company, or both can be held liable for the accident and resulting injuries and damages.

Consult with an Experienced Tampa, FL, Truck Accident Attorney Now

Injured in a truck accident? Please contact Hancock Injury Attorneys to set up a free case evaluation with our Tampa, FL, truck accident attorney. Reach us online or call 813-915-1110 for more details.