Trucking Regulations that Help Keep our Roads Safe

Road safety is every driver’s responsibility, which leads to regulations around larger vehicles such as buses or trucks. Trucks constantly ship items to grocery stores, retail stores and even your home. Trucks and trailers maneuver differently from passenger cars, and truck drivers should understand the challenges. The training, regulations and laws around trucks and trailers help keep every driver safe.

Licensing Laws

Commercial driver’s license requirements set the minimum age and health factors for people to drive trucks. For a CDL, a person needs to pass a test as part of their application. There are varying classes for different vehicles and transported cargo. An example is a driver needing a Class A CDL with a hazardous materials endorsement for a truck over 13 tons with hazardous material as cargo.

Training Regulations

The next step for a driver is training after gaining their CDL. Entry-level drivers need to pass testing in the classroom and behind-the-wheel experiences. New drivers will learn about cargo, handling, driving techniques and vehicle inspection. The testing trains drivers beyond the classroom using real-world scenarios, including bad weather and regulations to avoid accidents. The rules are in place so all drivers in a company understand the responsibility of driving a commercial vehicle.

Drug and Alcohol Usage and Testing Laws

Truck drivers must pass DOT mandated drug and alcohol testing before employment with a trucking company. Drivers who fail drug and alcohol testing can’t drive a commercial vehicle under the regulations. Trucking companies can ask for random drug and alcohol testing without warning to any of their drivers to protect the roads.

Truck Maintenance Laws

All vehicles need proper maintenance to run safely, which is true with complex trucks. Regulations require trucking companies to have regular inspections and keep records on maintenance. Federal rules demand pre-trip inspections and quickly fixing maintenance issues to prevent failures. A trucking company that allows a truck on the road with issues is accountable for an accident.

Regulated Number of Hours Drivable Per Day

Deadly crashes that involve trucks and trailers may result from tired truck drivers. The regulated hours for drivers are for everyone’s safety, and trucking companies must comply. Drivers should take 30-minute breaks every eight hours and can’t drive over 11 hours in a 14-hour day. A driver running more than the regulated hours to meet a deadline has a higher chance of crashing. If a truck driver crashes while going over the regulated hours, the trucking company could be responsible. Federal laws insist drivers take 10 hours off between their shifts.

Bad Weather Regulations

Passenger vehicles often slow down during bad weather, but the risks are higher for trucks and trailers. Truck drivers must slow down or pull over during bad weather to protect the roads. The truck driver or company could be liable if they keep the regular speed during bad weather. The bad weather regulations include snow storms, rain storms and heavy fog.

Cargo Requirements

The regulations for securing prevent damage to the cargo and reduce the chances of an accident. The restrictions stop cargo from tipping or spilling onto the roads into oncoming traffic. Truck drivers should balance their cargo and secure everything while on the road. The weight and size requirements of cargo can also prevent damage to highways or bridges.

Drivers Park Trucks and Trailers in Designated Areas

Standards need truck drivers to place warning signs to alert drivers of the parked truck. Drivers should never park on the road and use the safe, designated areas for trucks and trailers. The regulations protect all drivers, and every trucking company adheres to them.

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