Anyone who lives in Houston or anywhere in Texas has probably noticed that there are a lot of trucks, along with tractor-trailers on a highway. American Trucking Association claims that these vehicles move around seventy percent of all freight in the United States.
Now, there is definitely a difference between a truck and any other vehicle. First of all, they are much bigger and heavier, therefore, more difficult to control and drive in comparison to other vehicles.
That’s precisely why all truck drivers must obtain a special driver’s license once they complete training and passing a test. Their size can potentially cause serious damages during a collision. This article will cover anything that a truck driver can do to protect himself.
Laws That Must Be Followed
Since Texas is familiar with the severity of these accidents, truck drivers, along with truck corporations, must be regulated by the United States government. Furthermore, trucking corporations must be registered in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and obey the rules of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR).
If they follow these rules, they will increase their safety for sure and, at the same time, decrease the chances of having a truck accident. The most important rules include:
- Trucks must have bigger insurance, and this refers to all trucking firms, it doesn’t matter whether intrastate or interstate. Namely, they must have at least 750,000 US dollars of liability insurance for each truck that weighs 10,000 pounds or more.
- These corporations must test their drivers for alcohol and drugs.
- Truck drivers must have some rest if they drive more than they’re supposed to and must write down both their rest and driving hours.
- Truck drivers must report every single traffic violation. The only exception is parking tickets.
Understand Federal Law
This is extremely important, especially for workers in the transportation industry. If you are a truck driver from Houston and you’re not quite sure that everything is crystal clear, consult with a Houston truck accident attorney who is familiar with the state and federal laws. That’s of huge relevance!
All these rules can be a bit complicated for those who haven’t read about them before. Many of them determine general guidelines for the safe and professional operation of commercial trucks. These guidelines involve these issues:
- Avoiding cargo shifting in transit
- Defensive driving
- Making the right left-hand turns
- Preventing truck driver fatigue
- Averting rear-end collisions
Truck Driver Fatigue
At times, this is something that cannot be easily controlled, and it can be quite dangerous if it “catches” you on the road. Fatigue doesn’t always mean one thing, but it can be a mixture of many things.
If you do not get enough sleep, if you are working too hard or if you are constantly unloading and loading heavy loads, all these factors can contribute to this condition. Unfortunately, this can lead to traffic accidents.
According to the United States Department of Transportation, one of the biggest causes of truck accidents is precisely fatigue. Driving for 10 to 14 hours can be really exhausting, and that’s why you need to obey these rules and regulations to stay protected.
Federal labor laws that include workers’ health and safety are mostly governed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is part of the Department of Labor. Namely, it collaborates with the FMCSA to incorporate various limits on a truck driver’s hours of service.
Seven years ago, these companies decided to constrain the hours of these drivers to seventy hours every week. Besides this, they also involve an 11-hour driving limit within a fourteen-hour period following ten consecutive off-duty hours. Furthermore, each truck driver must have a thirty-minute break after eight hours, as well as a sixty to seventy-hour duty limit within one week of work.
Also, federal rules demand that interstate truck drivers must pass regular medical exams and bring along a medical card that showcases that this truck driver is healthy enough to drive a truck without any problem. This is very important because if he or she isn’t medically fit, he/she will not be able to concentrate and pay attention to any road obstacle.
Is This Enough?
No one can protect any truck driver as much as he or she can protect himself/herself. These rules and regulations are only here to help in a way, however, if you’re not feeling well or you’re tired, stop and have some rest. Do not take any risks by simply not obeying the rules or driving when you’re fatigued.