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The trucking industry is vital and plays a significant role in transporting goods throughout the United States and worldwide. However, because of their massive size, commercial vehicles can be hazardous if the drivers and companies they work for do not follow federal and state regulations for best safety practices.
Federal trucking laws in Columbus are essential to ensuring that truckers and other drivers on the roads around them are as safe as possible. If you were injured in a crash involving a commercial vehicle, reach out to our skilled team of truck accident attorneys for more information about your legal rights and what steps to take.
Federal law establishes that commercial trucks in Columbus meet specific dimensional requirements. These rules regarding size are dependent on the type of truck and where they operate. For example, a tandem axle truck cannot weigh more than 34,000 pounds with a gross weight max (GVWR) of 80,000. Meaning the weight of the load the vehicle carries would have to be less than 46,000 pounds. No single-axle vehicle should travel on highways if they are over 20,000 pounds.
Most commercial trucks should also not exceed 102 inches in width and 113 and one-half inches in height. Similar to weight, length requirements depend on the type of semi-truck and can range from maximums of 28 and one-half feet to 53 feet.
When truck drivers, owners, or the company that operates them fails to comply with federal law, they put everyone on the highways at risk of accidents that lead to severe or sometimes fatal injuries.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is a U.S. Department of Transportation agency that regulates the commercial truck industry. They oversee the laws surrounding the drivers’ hours, maintenance and upkeep of the vehicles, drug and alcohol use, and the transport of hazardous materials.
According to the FMCSA, many rollover accidents occur because of drowsiness or inattention. Further, 78 percent of these incidents happen because of driver error. Therefore, drivers must adhere to strict guidelines and training while on the roadways.
The federal government also regulates drug and alcohol testing procedures. Per Title 49 under the Federal Code of Regulations Part 40, truck operators must submit to both regular and random drug and alcohol testing to remain licensed and behind the wheel. Our dedicated attorneys can investigate to ensure the agency followed federal regulations after an incident where the driver is suspected of having been under the influence.
In addition to federal regulations, there are also state trucking laws that all commercial companies and their drivers must adhere to in order to operate on Columbus highways. Under the Ohio Revised Code Section § 4506.12, every driver must pass the knowledge and skills test before receiving a commercial driver’s license or CDL endorsement for commercial trucks. They must study and pass additional tests for other endorsements, such as transporting hazardous materials.
Federal and local governments regulate the trucking industry to keep drivers and all other motorists safe. When the driver or company they work for fails to adhere to these laws and causes damages, the criminal and civil court could hold them accountable.
If you were in an avoidable accident because a trucker violated federal trucking laws in Columbus, you could be eligible to collect compensation. Call O’Connor, Acciani, & Levy if you need help with a claim.