Federal law contains extensive rules and regulations for semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles. These rules are designed to safeguard other drivers on the road, pedestrians, bicyclists, and even truck drivers themselves. Truck drivers are held to higher standards of behavior than regular drivers, simply because semi-trucks pose a greater threat to other vehicles on the road. All too often, however, trucking companies and truck drivers violate these rules, often in an attempt to increase their own profits. If a truck driver disregards one or more regulations and causes an accident that results in injuries to another person, that truck driver may be held financially liable for the victim’s losses.
For instance, federal regulations require that trucking companies establish drug and alcohol testing protocols for their drivers. Commercial truck drivers also are subject to a higher standard when it comes to operating while intoxicated; truck drivers can be charged with DUI for driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .04, as opposed to .08 for regular drivers. Similarly, semi-trucks are subject to strict rules about safety features, like certain braking systems, reflectors, rear-vision mirrors, and rear impact guards. Maintenance of all trucks must occur on a regular schedule in accordance with federal law, and all safety features and other parts must be in safe, operable conditions at all times when the vehicle is being driven.
Other regulations govern the transport of hazardous materials and the number of driving hours by which a semi-truck driver must abide. For example, designated truck drivers must keep track of their hours on and off duty every day that they are working. Some drivers cannot drive for more than 11 hours after 10 hours off duty, and some drivers cannot drive for more than 14 hours after 10 hours off duty. Overall, a commercial semi-truck driver cannot drive more than 60 hours within a one-week period.
We are the Wisconsin truck accident lawyers to whom you always can turn if you or your loved one suffers serious injuries in a crash, whether it involves drunk driving, distracted driving, or another issue. No matter how complex or difficult your situation may be, the Madison injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan are here to advocate on behalf of you and your family and hold negligent drivers responsible for any injuries that have occurred.