Rules for Semi Trucks Aim to Keep Motorists Safe

By June 17, 2008 July 18th, 2019 Trucking Regulations

Large commercial trucks, also known as 18-wheelers, semis, and tractor-trailers, account for more than their share of serious injuries and traffic deaths on America’s highways. According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis , large trucks are responsible for 12 percent of all traffic fatalities, even though only 3 percent of all registered vehicles are trucks and trucks account for only 7 percent of vehicle miles traveled.
As a result, big rigs are heavily regulated. The federal rules, found at 49 C.F.R. Section 392, cover a variety of issues including driver impairment, drug and alcohol use, speed limits, equipment maintenance and cargo distribution.
According to Section 392.3, a trucker may not drive if his or her ability or alertness is impaired by fatigue or illness.
Section 392.4 prohibits possession or use of amphetamines, narcotics and any other drug that might render the driver unsafe. Furthermore, a trucker may not drive while using prescription drugs unless the doctor has advised that the medication will not affect his or her driving ability.
A driver may not drink alcohol within four hours before hitting road or driving while under the influence. Section 392.5 also prohibits drivers from possessing wine, beer or alcohol unless it is part of a shipment.
According to Section 392.7, the following parts to be in good working order before a tractor-trailer can be driven: service brakes, parking brake, steering mechanism, lighting devices and reflectors, tires, horn, windshield wipers, rear-vision mirrors and coupling devices.
When it comes to cargo, Section 392.8 requires that the load must be adequately distributed and secured.
If a truck driver or commercial carrier fails to follow these common-sense rules, innocent motorists can get hurt or even killed.
If you have been hurt or a loved one has been hurt or died as a result of a truck driver’s carelessness, contact Carey, Danis & Lowe Missouri/Illinois trucking-accident lawyers online or by calling 877-678-3400.