What Laws Apply to Truck Drivers?

Truck driving is not as easy as it may seem at first glance; the truck driving dispatcher from this site reminds us. After all, there are not only work rules but also federal laws that require strict compliance. This includes responsibility for accidents, alcohol and drug testing, and even working hours. Every trucker and owner-operator should be aware of these requirements in order not to receive a fine, license revocation, or even legal proceedings. 

The Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for drafting, implementing, and complying with these rules for truckers. It is essential to understand that these laws are not an unnecessary formality, but something that protects both drivers and other road users from accidents. 

Remember that accidents involving 18-wheeled vehicles can be fatal. Therefore, read this article carefully to learn about all the duties and prohibitions.

Complete List of Truckers' Law

1. Commercial Driver's License

This is a mandatory document that truckers and companies that operate commercial vehicles (CMVS) must receive. The state also requires that trucking companies store information about each of their drivers. That is, your employer must keep your job application, driver's records for the previous three years, the results of a driver's license check, an annual review of your work, the results of a road test, and a certificate.

2. Drug and Alcohol Testing

This testing must be carried out by all truckers of each company and in special laboratories. In addition to the mandatory tests, a trucker may be asked to take it again at any time while at work. Also, an alcohol and drug test is carried out every time a driver gets into an accident.

3. Working Hours

They may vary depending on the type of your truck and the number of people you transfer from point A to point B. This responsibility for observing working hours lies with both the trucker and the transport company that draws up the work schedule and routes for transportation.

4. Using a Mobile Phone 

When a trucker is driving, he must be wholly focused on the road. Unfortunately, with the development of technology, it has become more and more difficult. Therefore, FMCSA prohibits truck drivers from holding a mobile device in their hands while driving a truck. Dialing a number by pressing more than one button is also forbidden.

What to do? Use the speakerphone so that the hands are free and the driver looks at the road. Typing messages or reading anything from a mobile device is also prohibited. Remember that any second you are distracted from the road may be the last for you or other people.

5. Spare Parts and Equipment for Trucks  

FMCSA monitors every detail of the truck so that driving is as safe as possible for all road users. In fact, there are a considerable number of these rules — only 18 requirements are prescribed for reflective devices on the truck. Therefore, we advise you to familiarize yourself with these FMCSA rules for your truck.

Let's just say that the truckers' laws also apply to the size and weight of the truck, tires, speedometer, exhaust system, seat belts, and cargo. The truck company is responsible for non-compliance with these rules. That is why trucks are carefully checked every time before departure, and inspections are documented separately.

6. Truck Insurance

There are special rules that regulate the amount of truck insurance. After all, one truck can cause more damage than an ordinary passenger car. Therefore, the insurance requirements are unique. So, the cargo transportation company must have liability insurance in the amount of $750,000 to $5,000,000, depending on the type of cargo.

Liability for Accidents: How is It Installed? 

Transport companies are often responsible for everything, even truckers' actions. After all, the companies must check everything and double-check again to prevent law violations. They are also responsible for their own misconduct, such as hiring unskilled drivers or supervising trucks. 

Truckers will be interested to learn about the law on negligence, because of which you can be held liable for an accident. So, to start the trial, you need the following: 

  • Do not comply with the laws above. For example, the trucker is driving for more than the time prescribed by law;
  • Establish a causal relationship. Negligence must be the cause of an accident that caused harm to a person. For example, the careless behavior of a trucker at the wheel;
  • To harm a person.

If all three aspects are present in an accident, then the trucker will have to bear responsibility for the incident created.

The purpose of these rules is to ensure maximum safety for all road users. Therefore, truckers and transport companies will face severe punishment for violating these laws. Therefore, he advises you to familiarize yourself with all the requirements in detail and not neglect them. Do it for your health, employees, and other people on the roads.

  • Mick Jone
  • Category: How-to
  • Last Update: 5 months ago