The Trucking Industry: Understand the Regulations
Odds are, if you’ve ever driven a good distance, you’ve seen the many large commercial trucks that are often very prominent on the road. These are often needed to help transport goods from one destination to another.
They’re essential to the way many people live their lives and while not all of them are negligent, there are some situations when someone in the trucking industry acts in a negligent manner and puts many individuals at significant risk of an injury.
Large trucks can create a plethora of problems when someone associated with the job is not diligent in ensuring there are proper safety protocols in place. Much of this means ensuring that the regulations governing the trucking industry are followed.
When violations occur, and the regulations are not followed properly, there is potential for significant dangers. Here are some of the regulations that must be followed, the potential dangers that may exist, and what rights victims may have in the event of an accident.
There are Certain Weight Requirements to Abide By
In the trucking industry, certain regulations dictate how much weight a commercial truck can be with the cargo intact. This is a set amount across the board generally, but some roads or highways may have a lighter weight limit, restricting the number of commercial trucks that can travel across them.
The weight limits are not the only regulations in place, however, as it must also be ensured that the trailer and items within it are properly loaded and evenly distributed. This makes it so the weight is even across the entire trailer.
Failure to abide by the weight restrictions in place, or loading the cargo in a matter where one side is heavier than the other presents serious risks to the truck driver and to other individuals on the road, especially in certain conditions.
Heavy cargo or uneven cargo loads could cause the trailer to turn over onto its side, crushing other vehicles, pushing them off the road, or putting a halt to traffic for which nobody can prepare. When you consider potential weather issues, this risk is heightened.
Hours of Service Regulations
If you were tasked with driving across the state or the country, would you want to ensure that you are properly rested before getting behind the wheel? In the trucking industry, the hours of service regulations help make sure this is possible.
These regulations limit the total number of hours a driver is able to work before they must take a break. They also regulate how much rest is necessary, how many days straight a driver may work, and when the driver has to take a break.
When followed properly, the regulations help prevent drivers from being fatigued and operating their trucks while too tired—which can cause significant accidents if the driver starts to fall asleep or can’t properly concentrate on the road.
Part of the regulations requires truck drivers to keep proper logs regarding when they start driving and when they start their break. This is designed to keep them from operating the truck in hopes of meeting tough deadlines while fatigued.
Proper Licensing is Necessary for Drivers
When a driver wants to pursue a career in the commercial driving industry, they must have the proper training and be properly licensed for the job. This means obtaining their Commercial Driver’s License by taking the necessary tests.
For owners of trucking companies, they must ensure that the individuals they choose to hire have the licensing necessary for the job. Failure to check the driver for licensing or training could put many individuals in danger of significant damages.
The Need to Maintain Trucks
Owners of the trucking company are not just responsible for telling their drivers where to go. They’re also tasked with ensuring that the trucks are properly maintained and that nothing is wrong with the many parts that help it operate.
For instance, if the company knows that the brakes are having problems, or if something else is wrong on the truck but they don’t take the time to fix it, they could put their own drivers and others on the road at risk.
Maintenance keeps the vehicle, drivers, and others on the road free from potential harm and is something must be done in a manner where the truck is checked before it leaves the warehouse.
What Kind of Damages May Occur as a Result of a Truck Accident?
Because of the large size of these commercial trucks, there are a number of potential damages that can result, many of which may be considered catastrophic.
For instance, a victim in a trucking accident may suffer significant injuries such as broken bones, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, amputations, and more. In the worst-case scenarios, these injuries can even be fatal.
When you also consider the property damage and significant emotional trauma, the combination of these overall damages is enough to cause anyone physical, emotional, and financial hardships which may be difficult to overcome on their own.
It’s important for these individuals to have a fully understanding of what options they may have and who may be held accountable for the damages sustained. This could be a number of different parties, including:
- The truck driver if he or she acts in a negligent manner such as driving while under the influence, driving fatigued, driving distracted, or driving while not properly licensed.
- The trucking company is responsible if they encourage the driver to go beyond the Hours of Service regulations or do not properly train drivers or maintain their trucks.
- Other employees of the company may be responsible if they don’t properly load the truck per weight restrictions or in an even manner.
The Rights of Victims and Moving Forward
This is a daunting experience for anyone to endure and to do so alone would be far too difficult for anyone looking to seek the compensation and justice they deserve. Instead, it’s important to have legal representation in place that can help you understand your options.
At Fieger Law, our Michigan truck accident attorneys work with you to help you understand what rights and options you have to move forward. We are dedicated to protecting your best interests through the entire process so nothing catches you off guard and you know what to expect.
It’s important for you to have someone on your side who knows how to navigate these complex matters, build a strong case strategy on your behalf, and put together a compelling argument to move forward with confidence so you never have to worry.
Our firm is here to stand in your corner, fighting for your rights, and working the extra mile to hold the negligent party accountable for their actions. You shouldn’t have to suffer because of someone else’s negligence, and while we Hecan’t take away your pain, we can work to help you secure justice.
If you have been injured as a result of a serious truck accident, we can help. We encourage you to call us today at (800) 294-6637 and speak with a skilled legal representative about your rights and options. You deserve strong representation and this is what we aim to give every step of the way.