Trucking Laws are Supposed to Keep the Roadways Safe
Large, commercial trucks are vital to our economy. They transport the goods that we need to live. But their sheer size, and the commercial trucking industry, can often cause problems, as the typical commercial truck can dwarf a normal passenger vehicle. That’s why there are numerous laws in place, to ensure that the trucks on our roadways are operating as safely as possible.
Fatigue and Maximum Hours
One of the biggest dangers in the trucking industry is driving fatigue. Large commercial companies need their goods delivered, and delivered fast. The motivation is to incentivize those drivers that get there fastest, and that incentivizes drivers to drive for long periods with little or no sleep.
However, federal law limits how long drivers can be on the road. A commercial truck driver can only drive for 60 hours over the course of 7 days, or 70 hours over 8 days. If the drivers have 34 hours of rest over two nights, they can exceed that limit. Drivers must take a break of 30 minutes every eight hours.
Certainly, logging hours with a pad and pencil is both unreliable, and an invitation to fudge numbers, so laws require that trucking hours be logged on an electronic device, usually one that is installed in the truck itself. Approved cellphones and other devices can also be used.
There are other problems in the trucking industry that can lead to accidents. Some companies fail to do proper background checks, and put drivers behind the wheels of trucks that shouldn’t be there. They may have histories of poor driving.
The pure nature of driving a truck can lead to accidents. Trucks have large blind spots which, if not accounted for by technology and mirrors, can lead to accidents.
Trucks need more space to make a tight right turn. Many have to veer left, before turning right, and when they do so, they can often veer into the path of oncoming traffic.
Many companies will overload trucks, to get as much cargo to the destination as possible. But overloaded cargo bays lead to weight shifting. When weight in the back of a truck shifts, it can overturn or jackknife the entire truck. With too much weight, a truck can easily turn over, but even with proper load weight, drivers need to be trained in techniques that don’t shift the load in the back of a truck.
Brake failures also are a huge cause of accidents, as a truck’s brakes sustain significant forces. It is estimated that about 30% of trucking related accidents have to do with brake problems. Mechanics that work on a truck’s brakes must have special training and certification to do so under federal law.
If you are in an accident, we can help you recover for damages you may have sustained. Contact the Miami personal injury attorneys at Velasquez & Associates P.A. today for help.