Six Rules for Truck Safety on the Road
I’m Ed Smith, a truck accident lawyer in Fresno. Driving in California means dealing with congestion on the roads. It also means avoiding truck accidents. Such accidents, due to the truck’s size and weight, are often fatal to passenger vehicle occupants or cause serious injury. Following rules for truck safety may keep the roads safe for everyone.
Incidence of Truck Accidents in California
Because of California’s role as a shipping corridor for goods, trucks are a common sight on the roadways and unfortunately so are truck accidents. The number of passenger vehicle occupant deaths nationwide in 2015, the last year when incidence is available, was 16,484 with a total of 3,176 happening in California. If a truck was involved in the accident, the incidence of passenger vehicle occupants injured or killed compared to those who were in the truck was at a ratio of 69 percent to 16 percent respectively.
Reasons for Truck Accidents
Truck accidents happen for a myriad of reasons. One of the most common is when the truck overturns due to taking a curve at a higher speed than it should given the conditions of the road and the weight and size of the truck. Another is when the truck follows traffic too closely and rear-ends the vehicle in front. In some instances, another vehicle such as a motorcycle or passenger car tailgates a truck in its blind zone, a place where the trucker is unable to see. The blind zone is usually at the sides, directly in front or behind the truck. In such cases, the trucker may crash into the vehicle. The blind spot on the left is less large than that on the right, which covers the entire right side of the truck and portions of the adjacent lanes.
Regulations Truckers Must Follow
Trucks are bound to follow certain government regulations. These can be found at the Government Publishing Office and are regulated by the Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. If a trucker or trucking company failed to follow these rules, they can be considered liable for your accident.
Commercial Driving License
Truckers must have a commercial license in order to drive a big truck legally. In California, requirements for obtaining this license include:
- Be 18 years old
- If a trucker will engage in interstate travel, they must be 21.
- If an applicant had a driver’s license in any other state in the past 10 years, they must inform the DMV, and fill out a 10-year history record check form
- A security threat assessment must be done if a trucker is applying to carry hazardous material
If a trucker does not have a commercial drivers license when an accident happens, this may weigh against the driver or his or her employer.
Hours of Service
Truckers must comply with the mandated hours within which they can drive without resting. If an accident happens due to sidestepping this requirement, the trucker and possibly their employer may be held liable. For more information, contact a Fresno truck accident lawyer.
Weight the Truck May Carry
Trucks have a specification as to the weight they are legally allowed to carry. This is determined by the size of the truck. For instance, a truck with only one axle can load and carry cargo of 20,000 pounds. In addition, the weight (gross) on any wheel or a set of wheels that work to support an axle cannot exceed 10,500 pounds. Since it is important to properly load a truck, if a truck was overloaded, this may be responsible for the conditions that led to an accident.
Defective Parts and Maintenance
A truck must be maintained properly to check for workability and wear and tear on parts such as tires and brakes. There are times when a truck part was manufactured or designed with a defect that could lead to an accident. When this happens, the manufacturer, distributor or a mechanic may be liable for the damages under a products liability claim.
Fresno Truck Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a truck accident lawyer in Fresno. Truckers and trucking companies are responsible for ensuring their drivers are well trained, licensed properly and trucks are maintained and perform as they should. If a defect or lack of maintenance or an untrained, unlicensed driver is responsible for your accident, you can hold them liable for your traumatic injuries such as brain injury. If you need more information about this because you were hurt in a truck accident or someone in your family died a wrongful death, know that I am available to provide you with friendly advice. You don’t owe me a thing until you win. Learn more by calling (559) 377-7676. You can also reach me by dialing (800) 404-5400.
I’ve fought for my client’s right to recover damages when someone negligently caused their injuries for over 35 years in my capacity as an injury lawyer. Driving properly and making sure the trucks are safe is a responsibility truckers and carriers share. When they shirk that obligation, they owe the victim hurt by their lack of care financial damages. If you are interested in seeing the settlements and verdicts I’ve won in the past just click on the link above.
Top Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/truck-road-highway-desert-1181063/
Final Photo Attribution: Fresno Truck Accident Lawyer, Ed Smith
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