Our Baton Rouge injury law firm has handled a variety of truck accident claims related to the negligent or reckless driving of a tractor-trailer operator. If you have been the victim of a truck accident in Baton Rouge, read on for more information, and call Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys.
Accidents involving tractor-trailers, commercial trucks, and most types of “big trucks” are very different from standard car wrecks. Truck accident lawyers in and around the Baton Rouge Louisiana area must have a solid understanding of the details which make these truck wrecks challenging.
While impossible to list every way a commercial vehicle wreck is different from a routine car accident, the list below highlights some of the rules and regulations which apply to truck drivers and companies.
DISTRACTED DRIVING AND COMMERCIAL VEHICLES
Distracted driving is a big problem for people operating regular passenger cars. Truck drivers are affected because of the large pieces of machinery they operate on the roadways and highways.
The FMCSA performed an outstanding study of distracted driving and the operation of commercial trucks, and banned texting while driving a large truck and may soon ban cell phone use completely by truck drivers unless a hand-free device is used.
COMMERCIAL DRIVER’S LICENSE (CDL)
Commercial drivers need a commercial license in order to operate large trucks. The license is called a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). In order to get a CDL, a driver must pass certain tests and otherwise undergo much more rigorous training than a person who drives a regular car.It is important to investigate the truck driver’s CDL and determine whether there are currently, or have ever been, any suspensions or revocations on the license. Often, drivers have had CDLs in multiple states, so a thorough investigation by a truck accident lawyer in Baton Rouge is important.
ALCOHOL and DRUG USE BY TRUCK DRIVERS
The use of alcohol and drugs is, of course, illegal regardless of whether one is driving a car or tractor-trailer. However, the use of alcohol is strongly monitored in connection with driving commercial vehicles. In fact, the FMCSA precludes the use of alcohol for a number of hours before operation of a big truck. Further, alcohol testing of truck drivers is mandatory after accidents. Drivers must submit to an approved facility for a BAC test within 24 hours of a crash.
HOURS OF SERVICE FOR TRUCK DRIVERS IN BATON ROUGE
By the Hours of Service Rules, the law limits how many hours a driver can operate a truck. Hours of Service Rules for commercial drivers. Drivers must keep logs which document when they come on duty, when they rest, and when they return to duty. Not surprisingly, the purpose of these rules is to keep tired drivers off of the roads. Unfortunately, many companies urge their drivers to make deliveries as quickly as possible. At times, truck drivers sometimes even keep 2 sets of books. We have seen many cases of drivers exceeding the allowable hours of service and, sometimes, even forging log documents.
REGULAR INSPECTION, REPAIR, AND MAINTENANCE OF COMMERCIAL TRUCKS
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration mandates that trucking companies and truck drivers inspect their vehicles frequently. These inspections ensure that the trucks on the road are in top condition. Often, human error or mechanical defect causes accidents. The FMCSA seeks to minimize the mechanical issues which may lead to a wreck with these rules. In fact, truck drivers must inspect the truck before each trip. Louisiana imposes their own rules on commercial drivers and vehicles. FMCSA rules are the most important for lawsuits involving truck claims.
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