The trucking industry is subject to federal and state laws for safety reasons. Given the size and weight of trucks compared to standard vehicles, accidents can result in catastrophic injuries, which is why drivers and trucking companies are required to adhere to these regulations.
If you have been involved in a trucking accident, being aware of the rules that may have been violated will help your case. For instance, it will help you determine fault since there may be multiple liable parties following such an accident. Here is what you need to know.
Hours of service
Truckers are prone to working long hours, sometimes in a bid to beat deadlines or earn more money. It means that they are likely to get tired behind the wheel. Fatigue among truck drivers puts them and other road users at risk, which is why federal guidelines limit the number of hours drivers can clock in a day.
All trucks are supposed to be roadworthy and undergo periodic maintenance to ensure they do not pose a safety risk to other motorists. In addition, truck companies or owners must maintain any service schedules, repairs, and maintenance records.
Drug and alcohol testing
By law, trucking companies must ensure their drivers are screened before employment to ensure they do not have an alcohol or drug addiction. Additionally, truck drivers should be tested randomly or at certain intervals, such as before a journey or after an accident, to ascertain their sobriety.
What does it mean for your case?
Suppose the trucking company pressures its drivers to exceed the stipulated hours of service. In that case, they may bear responsibility if a truck driver causes an accident out of fatigue. On the other hand, if the driver and trucking company followed all rules and the accident resulted from a defective car part, the manufacturer could be held liable.
Navigating a truck accident requires proper knowledge of the legal technicalities bound to arise, which is why you should be well prepared before taking any action.