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How Trucking Laws and Regulations Can Affect a Personal Injury Claim

The Impact of State and Federal Regulations after a Truck Accident

How-Trucking-Laws-and-Regulations-Can-Affect-a-Personal-Injury-Claim-imgDid you know that a fully loaded semi, 18-wheeler or tractor-trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds? When you consider that the average passenger vehicle tips the scales at slightly more than 4,000 pounds, the potential for serious injury when your car collides with a big rig becomes obvious.

Lawmakers have long understood the inherent risks posed by 40-ton semis barreling down the nation’s roadways. That’s one of the reasons that the United States Congress and many state legislatures have enacted laws and implemented regulations governing the trucking industry, particularly with respect to how much time truck drivers spend on the road, and how well they maintain their vehicles.

What Are the Federal “Time on the Road” Limits for Commercial Truck Drivers?

Most commercial truck drivers are paid by the load delivered, which creates an incentive to spend more time on the road. At the same time, though, one of the most frequent causes of truck accidents is driver fatigue. Because too much time on the road can leave a driver tired, less attentive, and less responsive in an emergency, federal law establishes restrictions for how much time a driver can continuously be behind the wheel and how much time a driver can operate a truck over a given period of time:

  • Drivers may drive up to 11 hours at a stretch, but only if preceded by 10 consecutive hours off duty
  • Drivers must take at least 30 minutes off every 8 hours
  • Drivers may not be behind the wheel more than 60 hours in any given 7-day-period or 70 hours in any given 8-day-period

What Vehicle Maintenance and Inspection Reports Must a Driver Keep?

Drivers must maintain a log, which must include a daily post-trip inspection report. The inspection report must identify the vehicle, as well as any defects that may have an impact on the safe operation of the vehicle.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT to schedule an appointment to discuss your personal injury claim. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

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