In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and other locations in the United States, tractor trailers, semi trucks, 18 wheelers, and commercial truck drivers must follow strict regulations, because an accident in one can be so devastating. If they cross state lines, they must also follow federal regulations. In many cases, when someone sustains an injury as a result of a truck accident, it is a very serious one. Truck safety is important because these injuries can be life changing, or even cause death. Truck safety law is put in place to protect citizens from sustaining such injuries, but unfortunately, trucking accidents still occur.
Truck Safety Regulations
In the United States, there are many regulations and laws that are set in place to protect those who may be injured in trucking accidents. In order to drive a commercial truck in the United States, one must have a Commercial Driver’s License known as CDLs. A skills test and a knowledge test is needed to make sure that a driver can handle driving such a large vehicle and can compensate for the different weights that it will be at various times. Medical tests, etc are also needed periodically, and passenger bus drivers have even more regulations to fulfill.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or FMCSA regulates commercial drivers, and commercial motor vehicles, or CMVs are limited to operating for eleven hours in any fourteen hour time frame. After that, at least ten hours for a resting break are required by law for these drivers. In any eight-day period, such drivers are not allowed to drive for more than seventy hours.
Other Truck Safety Rules
All rest times and work periods must be recorded into a 24 hour logbook, which is required to be kept by all drivers. At any time that a law enforcement official asks for it, this book must be available, showing at least the last seven days of operation, up to date to the hour. The time that a vehicle is moving or stopped can also be recorded by electronic on-board recorders, or EOBRs. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration may decide to make these mandatory on all commercial vehicles. On July 1, 2013, a new HOS, or Hours of Service regulation also came into effect that requires driver to take at least a 30 minute break within every 8 hour shift.
If an accident occurs involving an 18 wheeler, and the driver is found to have not followed these and other regulations, the driver and the trucking company could be held liable for any injuries sustained in that accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in an accident involving a commercial truck, give Boston Trucking Attorney Neil Burns and Roshan Jain a call today.