Do Trucking Companies Encourage Violating DOT Regulations for Truck Drivers?

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Attorney Gregory Herrman | 888-981-1283 | Free Consult

“I am not saying every single truck driver out there is a bad guy, and every single truck driver out there is violating these rules. There are good truck drivers, but there are also bad ones.”

Truck drivers are under immense pressure to make their deliveries on time, especially during the pandemic. Sometimes these deadlines are at odds with Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations for truck drivers designed to prevent truck accidents.

Gregory Herrman is a personal injury attorney with the law firm Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., which has offices in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and the Rio Grande Valley. He explains that the truck driver and/or the trucking company could be liable for a crash, depending on the situation.

To learn more, contact the attorney directly by calling 888-981-1283 or by submitting a contact form on this page. There is no charge for the consultation, and you never owe any out-of-pocket attorney fees.

Key Takeaways From Gregory Herrman:

When accidents occur with these massive vehicles, the consequences can be severe. With the coronavirus pandemic forcing truckers to stay on the road longer than usual, the safety of these big-rigs has come into question.

Several rules apply to truck driving that do not apply to passenger vehicles.

For example, while the legal blood-alcohol limit for most standard vehicles is .08%, truck drivers are held to a higher standard. Truck drivers are required by law to stay below .04% blood-alcohol level.

Additionally, truck drivers are required to take a certain duration and amount of rest breaks between long periods of driving; not to mention the rules regarding how a truck can be loaded, how much a truck can carry, and driving logs that are required to be kept. Even the rules regarding speed limits and hazardous conditions are particularly stringent for truck drivers. Situations in which a passenger vehicle could continue driving safely, an 18-wheeler might be required to pull over and wait for the conditions to pass.

Trucking companies have been known to push their drivers beyond their legal limits.

Truck drivers are only paid upon the delivery of their load. This means the more trips a driver can make and the more time they spend on the road means more profit for the trucking company and the driver. Trucking companies often fail to provide safeguards ensuring that truck drivers take proper breaks and drive within legal limits.

Truck accidents are not uncommon, and the outcomes can be devastating.

An 80,000-pound vehicle can create serious damage in a collision with a passenger vehicle. Accidents with semi-trucks often result in serious injuries and even fatalities. The severity of 18-wheeler accidents is the primary reason for the myriad of strict rules and DOT regulations regarding what drivers are and are not allowed to do on the road.

After a large truck accident the driver and company can both be cited and even lose licenses based on the results of an investigation into their adherence to the industry’s safety regulations.

Liability can be hard to determine in some of these accidents.

In many cases, the truck driver is decided to be culpable for damages in one of these accidents. In other situations it can be the trucking company failing to properly hire and train employees, not to mention enforcing safety regulations.

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased pressure on truck drivers to get to their destinations as quickly as possible.

Truck drivers are the unsung heroes during this worldwide crisis. They are spending more time away from their families on the road to transport goods to the people who need them. Unfortunately, in some cases this also increases the pressure on truck drivers to cut safety corners, often forgoing rest breaks and driving over the speed limit.

It’s important to remain aware when sharing the road with one of these big-rigs. Giving these commercial vehicles as much distance as possible, especially if the vehicle is exhibiting erratic behavior, is one of the best things a driver can do to protect themselves and their families from a trucking collision.

To learn more, contact Gregory Herrman directly by calling 888-981-1283 or by submitting a contact form on this page. There is no charge for the consultation, and you never owe any out-of-pocket attorney fees.

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