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Reducing Risk: Safety Regulations in the Trucking Industry

The trucking industry transports essential goods across our country every day. It’s also responsible for over 4,000 fatal accidents a year. While there are numerous state and federal safety regulations that govern the trucking industry, truckers that fail to meet those rules put others on the road at significant risk. And if you’re involved in an accident with a truck, it’s crucial to know whether the trucker driver met those regulations, and, if not, who is liable for your damages.

Regulating Risk

One of the most important federal safety regulations is the hours of service requirement. This limits the amount of a time a trucker can be on the road. Driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of trucking accidents as truckers are often on the road for long stretches of time. Truckers can drive up to 11 hours after ten consecutive hours off duty. Those that drive more than 11 hours increase their risk of crashes due to driver fatigue. Truckers must also adhere to rest hour regulations that require they rest for a certain period after driving.

Truckers are also under regulations for licensing. Illinois requires truckers hold commercial driver’s licenses. Obtaining a commercial license involves a comprehensive written test, a driving test, and medical clearance. Most trucking companies also run background checks and drug tests for all truckers.

Other safety regulations address maximum load weights, trucking routes, and safety procedures for construction zones, road closures, weight stations, adverse weather, and emergency response.

Finding Liability

Unfortunately, not all truckers adhere to these regulations as many are independent contractors and not subject to employer monitoring. This can make filing a trucking accident claim difficult, as it isn’t always clear who is liable, and the parties involved may dispute liability. You need to work with an experienced Arlington Heights trucking accident attorney in filing your claim. The key to receiving fair compensation is identifying the liable party or parties and holding them accountable. To do this, you need an attorney who is familiar with both state and federal trucking regulations, the types of evidence that could affect a trucking accident claim, and the process for getting employee drive time and licensing records.

R.F. Wittmeyer

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