Commercial drivers who operate trucks or who transport passengers are subject to strict state and federal rules. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration imposes requirements on truck drivers who work as part of interstate commerce. Truckers are expected to have a commercial license and to follow all regulations designed to reduce the chance of accidents happening.
Truck Driver Responsibilities to Avoid Long Beach Truck Accidents
A truck driver’s primary responsibility is to operate his vehicle in a safe manner in order to avoid the risk of a motor vehicle accident. Truckers, like all drivers, are required to maintain a basic minimum level of competency and must not make careless decisions behind the wheel.
When a trucker fails to live up to the obligation to exercise reasonable caution and to drive reasonably safely, the driver can become legally liable for any crash that occurs because of his failures.
Truck drivers act as agents of their employers. This means that when a trucker is negligent or careless, his behavior is the equivalent of the trucking company being negligent. When a trucker causes a crash, both the truck driver and his employer will be liable.
Federal Rules for Drivers Aim to Prevent Long Beach Truck Collisions
In addition to the basic responsibility of exercising reasonable care behind the wheel, truck drivers are expected to comply with all federal laws.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations impose many different truck driver responsibilities. For example:
- Truckers must keep logs of their time on duty. The purpose is to ensure compliance with hours-of-service rules. Truck drivers are limited in the number of hours they can drive each day in order to prevent truck driving crashes due to drowsy driving. On-duty logs are used to confirm that truckers aren’t driving for longer than allowed.
- Truckers must take required rest breaks. For long-haul truckers, a 30 minute rest break is required after eight hours on duty. A driver who has driven 60 hours over seven days or 70 hours over eight days must take a 34-hour rest break.
- Truckers must inspect their vehicles. Truckers should check the tires, brakes, and other vehicle components before setting off on a trip. Truck drivers need to make sure their tire pressure is not too low or too high and that no obvious vehicle maintenance problems exist that increase crash risks.
- Truckers must obey weight limits and requirements for safe cargo loading and securement. Overweight trucks and trucks with poorly-loaded cargo are more likely to jackknife or roll over.
- Truckers must refrain from consumption of alcohol or other impairing substances. A truck driver is not allowed to operate a commercial vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .04 or higher.
These are just a few of many truck driver responsibilities. When a truck driver fails to live up to any of the state and federal laws designed to increase safety, this failure creates a presumption of negligence. This means a crash victim does not have to prove the driver was unreasonably careless in order for the victim to recover compensation; it is enough to show that the violation of the safety rule was the cause of harm.
Call a Long Beach Truck Accident Lawyer for Help with Truck Claims
“Your Injuries Are Personal to Me”
If you were involved in a crash and suspect it was because of a failure to live up to truck driver responsibilities, you need to get legal help from a Long Beach truck accident lawyer so you can make a damage claim.
Call the Law Office of Michael D. Waks at 888-394-1174 or use the convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation. You are under no obligation and you will never pay any money unless you recover damages for your injuries. I offer bilingual services as part of my comprehensive approach to legal representation and I am available 24/7 to talk to you about your case.
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