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Trucking rules and statutes

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2023 | Blog, Semitruck Accident Injuries |

Truck drivers may put extra effort into safety when traveling through Oklahoma. A semi-truck could cause catastrophic accidents because of its sheer size and weight. Numerous differences exist between the operation of a commercial truck and a standard vehicle, so federal and state laws establish rules for drivers and trucking companies. Those who disregard statutes may find themselves liable if their behavior leads to an accident.

Commercial trucking rules

The likely most well-known rule for professional truck drivers is they must possess a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate a tractor-trailer. Operating a semi-truck without the training and skills required to pass a CDL test could be deemed negligence. Employers who allow unqualified drivers to operate their fleet may be liable for any harm an unlicensed driver inflicts.

Drivers must take breaks required by state and federal law. Fatigue could reduce a driver’s ability to operate a truck safely, and mandatory brakes attempt to address the issue. However, drivers might feel fatigued for other reasons besides working too much. Fatigued drivers present dangers regard of why they are tired.

Other liability concerns

Truck accidents might occur when the vehicle is improperly loaded. All trucks have a maximum weight capacity specific to a particular model. Overloading a truck could be dangerous since the excess weight affects performance. All parties responsible for overloading the truck could face liability claims if an accident results.

Trucking companies have a duty to ensure their fleets do not suffer from mechanical or other problems. Allowing defective trucks on the road puts people’s lives at risk. Worn tires and brakes represent defects that require attention.

Numerous state and federal laws govern how truck drivers and trucking companies must conduct themselves. Any failures to follow the rules might open them to liability claims.