Frequently Asked Questions about Trucking Safety
Experienced Trucking Accident Lawyer in New Mexico
A commercial truck, when fully loaded, can carry up to 80,000 pounds of freight. Unfortunately, because of the weight and sheer size of a semi, tractor-trailer, 18-wheeler, big rig or other commercial truck, it can cause serious injury or death in a collision at any speed. There are specific safety measures that have been enacted to minimize the risk of accident and injury. Here are answers to some of the frequently asked questions about trucking safety.
Q: Are there restrictions on how much time a driver may spend on the road?
A: Yes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation, monitors trucking operations, regulating the number of hours a driver may be on the road. The regulations are different for drivers who carry passengers, as opposed to drivers who carry only freight. Drivers may also be subject to state regulations limiting time on the road.
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Q: What are the federal regulations regarding time on the road for freight haulers?
A: Under federal regulations, drivers may not be on the road more than 60 hours over seven consecutive days or 70 hours over eight consecutive days. A driver may be “on duty for up to 14 hours after a 10 hour break, but may not drive more than 11 of those 14 hours. A driver must take a 30 minute break no later than eight hours after coming on duty.
Q: Is a driver required to regularly inspect his or her vehicle?
A: Yes. Under federal regulations, a driver must prepare a DVIR (Driver Vehicle Inspection Report) at the completion of each shift, and must give all reports to his or her motor carrier upon return to home terminal.
Q: Must all necessary repairs be completed before a truck may go back on the road?
A: Some types of repairs—but not all—must be completed before a truck may be driven again. Those that must be fixed are found in Appendix G to Subchapter B of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations.
Q: Are there medical regulations for truck drivers?
A: Yes. A driver may not operate a commercial vehicle weighing more than 10,000 pounds in interstate commerce without passing a physical conducted by a DOT-approved doctor. The medical certification is typically for two years. There are certain exemptions for drivers with physical impairments, such as vision or hearing problems, or diabetes.
Q: Are truck drivers required to submit to drug testing?
A: Yes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration put regulations in place in 2016, requiring all trucking companies to test all drivers before allowing them to operate a commercial truck.
Contact Buchanan Law if You’ve Been Hurt in a Trucking Accident
At Buchanan Law, we have more than 20 years of experience with personal injury claims. A personal injury survivor herself, Deena Buchanan knows how it can change your life. She’s also worked as defense counsel in personal injury litigation, so she knows the strategies and tactics insurance companies use to try to diminish, delay or defeat claims.
Attorney Buchanan is a highly experienced trial lawyer who has served as lead counsel on multi-million dollar personal injury disputes, including wrongful death claims. She’s earned accolades from clients, judges and other attorneys for her poise and calm demeanor throughout the legal process.
At Buchanan Law, we maintain offices in Albuquerque, but will travel to meet with you face-to-face anywhere in the state. Attorney Deena Buchanan has handled legal controversies in more than 20 states, but focuses her personal injury practice in New Mexico. She has a comprehensive knowledge of the laws and process in New Mexico, as well as the courts and how judges handle personal injury claims.
We offer a free initial consultation to most individuals with a potential personal injury claim. To set up an appointment, call our offices at 505-900-3559 or contact us online. We can meet with you evenings or weekends, upon request. We take all major credit cards.
We handle truck accident injury claims on a contingent fee basis. We won’t charge attorney fees unless we recover compensation for your losses.