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5 Regulations Truck Drivers Must Follow

By  Dan McCrary | April 16, 2024

Truck driving is undeniably a challenging profession, with thousands of accidents involving truck drivers occurring each year. According to a 2021 survey, there were approximately 523,796 accidents involving truck drivers, which is a significant number.

Most of the time, these accidents occur due to truck drivers failing to adhere to safety rules and regulations. Given the size and weight of commercial trucks, collisions can result in severe consequences for other vehicles, sometimes even death.

To avoid such situations, truck drivers must follow safety regulations. In this article, we’ll explain what are the specific regulations truck drivers must follow and the potential consequences of non-compliance. Let’s dive into the details!

5 Truck Regulations To Ensure Safe Driving Conditions

Here are some truck rules and regulations to ensure safety conditions. These are the most basic criteria to follow. As you add more points, your trip will be more safe. 

1. Maintenance of Truck

The first point for safe driving is taking care of the truck’s maintenance. If you work for a company, they are typically responsible for inspecting brakes, engines, tires, and other components, but it’s advisable to conduct your pre-trip inspections for minor issues.

However, if you work independently, maintaining the truck is your responsibility. Any accident that happens due to not maintaining the truck’s condition will be your responsibility, which can result in severe consequences.

2. Consider Weather Conditions

Weather conditions are the second important point to ensure safe driving conditions as it significantly impacts driving. The worse the weather is, the more you have to face difficulties. This is why it’s essential to prepare for your trip by checking the weather forecast beforehand.

Pack an emergency toolkit tailored to the conditions; for instance, include extra gloves, a flashlight, and jackets for snowy conditions. Adjust your driving according to the weather; drive slower in the rain, use marker lights in fog, and adapt your driving to snowy conditions.

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3. 14-Hour Rule For Truck Drivers

A common reason why accidents happen is because of the lack of sleep. Due to the harsh conditions of the job, truck drivers work more and sleep only a few hours. Companies also put a lot of burden on drivers; this is why the government has implemented the 14-hour rule.

According to this rule, property-carrying truck drivers should not drive after 14 consecutive hours on duty. A mandatory 10-hour break is required for rest, and a 30-minute break is necessary after 8 hours of driving.

4. Check Road Conditions & Drive Safe

Don’t forget to consider the road conditions before heading out to your destinations. Check the Google map to choose the best road and traffic conditions or to identify road closures due to construction.

While driving, it’s best to maintain space with other vehicles. If you see a car beside your truck, slow down to avoid any collision. Always ensure to give signals to other drivers while making turns, changing the lanes. The more you’ll be cautious the safer you’ll be and other drivers.

5. Cargo Safety

Cargo safety is often overlooked but is crucial for road safety. Some companies overload trucks without considering load balance,  which is extremely dangerous for everyone around you on the road.

To prevent accidents caused by cargo, use high-quality equipment like heavy-duty tie-downs and anchor points. Ensure the cargo weight does not exceed the truck’s capacity to maintain safety on the road.

What Happens When Truck Drivers Violate Regulations?

The consequences for violating regulations vary based on the severity of the violation. For instance, drivers may face hefty fines and suspension from duty for a specified period as punishment for breaking the rules.

In cases involving serious accidents caused by the truck driver’s negligence, the penalties can be severe. In 2023, a truck driver was sentenced to two years in jail following a crash that resulted in the death of a couple in South St. Paul.

Final Words

There are many regulations a truck driver has to follow to ensure the safety of their vehicle and other road users, including themselves. Neglecting any of the rules can lead to hefty fines and even jail sentences.

If you believe your company is pressuring you to drive beyond the 14-hour limit or overload cargo beyond capacity, consult with our lawyers. They can guide you on the options available to hold the company accountable for compromising safety.

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    McCrary Accident Injury Law Firm specializes in personal injury litigation. Its founder, Dan McCrary, Esq., spent 14 years working for the insurance companies before switching sides to represent personal injury victims in Rocklin as an attorney.

    Dan McCrary’s years of experience on the defense side taught him exactly how to obtain maximum recovery for his injured clients. If you have been injured in an accident you should contact the Accident & Injury Lawyers, Personal injury Attorney, Car accident lawyers at McCrary Accident Injury Law Firm in Rocklin, folsom, Sacramento to get the money you deserve, and overcome the tactics routinely employed by the insurance companies.