While many car accidents have the potential to cause extensive harm, the size and speed that goes along with semi-trucks can easily result in enormous costs. Federal regulations look to curb the dangers, and truckers that fall short of the rules could end up at-fault.
Serious injuries from a car accident can cost a person over $400,000, and over 1,300 people fell into that category in 2017, the year with the most recently released data. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has made strict rules to keep roads safe, and operators may be in trouble if they don’t live up to those standards.
Driving a commercial truck can quickly turn dangerous, which is why clear regulations are laid out by the law:
- Convictions: There are serious consequences when a driver commits a crime while operating a commercial vehicle, like possibly losing their license for life. Even if they commit certain crimes on their own time, they will likely need to report it to the correct governing body. Anything short of compliance could mean it’s illegal for them to be behind the wheel.
- Statuses: Drivers generally need to show that the U.S. says they’re allowed to work. Citizenship or permanent residency is the minimum requirement, and proof has to be from a list of predetermined documents that haven’t expired. Operators may also have to qualify on a state level.
- Licenses: Certain loads require certain special licenses. Multiple trailers, tank vehicles and hazardous cargo all require drivers to meet very strict standards with up-to-date qualifications. Anything short of the regulations generally means that the driver is pulling that load illegally.
If you were involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle, any claim you make could hinge on the eligibility of the driver. Make sure you know when the operator of the truck makes the grade, and you could have an avenue for pursuing compensation.