More on the Danger of Truck Accidents

This is Part two of a previous blog about Truck accidents.  As we know from our earlier discussion, the difference between the size and weight of a semi v. a passenger car means that truck accidents usually result in catastrophic injury to the passengers in the car.  These injuries include back injury, spinal cord injury, brain injury, amputation, paralysis and wrongful death.  A highway accident is something the government has being working hard to avoid.

As we discussed previously, the government has issued regulations addressed directly to the trucking industry.  These regulations are identified as Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). These regulations cover all areas of highway truck use.  They cover the driver as well as the truck.  As it relates to the driver, a driver must be at least 21 years of age. He/she must be able to sufficiently read and write English.  He/she must be able to operate the truck safely.  He/she must be physically qualified  to drive a truck and meet the requirements of E-Physical Qualifications and the complete the examination of that part. He/she must have a currently valid commercial drivers license (CDL) issued by only one state.  He/she must produce all prior traffic violations.  He /she is not otherwise unqualified to drive a truck. He/she has successfully completed a driver’s road test.  If a driver fails to meet any of these criteria, he/she and their employer will be subject to significant civil consequences and fines.

As tired drivers are a hazard on the road, and cause a lot of the truck accidents, there are strict regulations as to how long they may drive.  The regulations limit a driver to 8 actual driving hours within a 24 hour period.  To ensure compliance with this regulation, a driver is required to maintain an hourly log detailing his activities.  The driver must be no more than eight hours without having recorded his/her activities.  The driver must also be able to present the log immediately upon demand for inspection for any law enforcement officer.  If the log is incomplete, unavailable or otherwise unsatisfactory, the driver’s license can be suspended, subject him/her to fines and subject his/her employer to civil action.

The FMCSR is effective in controlling who can drive a truck for the safety of all users of the road.  This is yet another example of how the focus of the tort law is accident and injury prevention.  We are proud of our legal system here at Young and Young.  Over the more than 55 years of the firm’s work, we have represented thousands of victims of truck accidents, car accidents.  We stand ready to assist you and your family.

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