When you’re a trucker, it’s essential to understand the laws that govern your profession. Knowing these regulations will help you stay safe and avoid costly fines. Additionally, it can save you from high-cost accidents and more. Here are some laws you need to know about and how to ensure you don’t have problems with them.
Hours of Service Regulations
The Hours of Service Regulation (HOS) is designed to keep drivers and other motorists safe by limiting how many hours a driver can spend on the road in one day. The HOS defines how many hours a driver can work without taking a break, including an 11-hour daily driving limit and a 14-hour total time limit for each shift. Drivers must also take at least ten consecutive hours off between changes and complete their shifts within seven days if they want to remain compliant with the HOS regulations.
Weight Limit Laws
Truckers are subject to weight limits while on the road. These laws vary from state to state, but generally, trucks are limited to a maximum weight of 80,000 pounds (including cargo). This includes all axles combined; individual axles may not exceed 22,400 pounds unless they are part of an approved axle group setup. If you’re hauling heavy loads, double-check with your local DOT office to ensure you comply with all relevant weight limit laws.
Drug & Alcohol Testing Laws
The Department of Transportation requires that all commercial drivers be tested for drugs and alcohol before beginning their job and whenever there is reasonable suspicion that they may be under the influence while on duty. Drivers are also subject to random drug testing throughout their careers to ensure compliance with DOT regulations for drug use among commercial drivers. If a driver fails a drug or alcohol test, they may face severe penalties, including suspension or revocation of their CDL license.
Medical Certification Requirements
According to federal law, all commercial drivers must have valid medical certification to operate a CMV (commercial motor vehicle). Drivers must obtain this certification from an approved medical examiner listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners website. The certificate must be renewed every two years to remain valid; if it expires, the driver will no longer be able to operate a CMV until they obtain new certification from an approved examiner.
Minimum Insurance Requirements
All commercial vehicles must carry minimum insurance coverage as required by law. The range varies depending on what vehicle is being operated; however, all cars must have at least $750,000 worth of liability insurance to drive on public roads and highways legally. Therefore, drivers should always double-check with their insurer before hitting the road to know precisely what coverage limits apply to their vehicle and whether or not any additional coverage is needed to comply with applicable laws and regulations.
Driving a truck is not only physically taxing but mentally taxing as well–you have multiple laws governing your every move! Understanding these five essential rules will help you stay out of trouble while out on the open roads so you can focus solely on safely delivering your cargo effectively and efficiently! Additionally, here are some ways to prevent yourself from breaking these laws.
Know a Good Accident Lawyer
Accidents will happen if you’re a trucker. It’s up to you to be prepared for them by having an experienced truck accident lawyer in your corner who understands the laws surrounding commercial vehicles and trucking accidents. Knowing a good accident lawyer can give you various benefits. First, it can help you get back on the road after an accident by ensuring that all paperwork is handled correctly and all liability claims are addressed appropriately. Second, it can provide invaluable advice if a lawsuit is filed against you to ensure your rights are fully protected, and any potential penalties are kept to a minimum.
Update Your Insurance
Your insurance can protect you from hefty fines and other penalties in case of an accident or violation. Be sure to update your policy to ensure that it is compliant with all applicable laws and regulations. Additionally, ensure that the insurance limits are sufficient for the kind of cargo you’re hauling so there is no gap between coverage limits and potential damages caused by accident.
Be Proactive With Your Vehicle Maintenance
Finally, it’s vital to be proactive with vehicle maintenance. Regularly checking for problems can help ensure that your truck is compliant with all applicable laws and regulations. It can also prevent potential issues from escalating into more serious accidents or citations, thus saving you time and money in the long run.
Prevention will always be better than a costly cure, so make sure you are familiar with the laws governing your profession and follow them closely. Don’t let a violation cost you your career—be proactive and stay informed about regulations for truckers!