In the trucking industry, there’s often a push for efficiency and meeting tight delivery schedules. In pursuit of higher profits or meeting strict deadlines, some companies might pressure their drivers to break laws, This pressure can come from various angles. For instance, a company might set unrealistic delivery times, making it tough for drivers to meet them without stretching their hours.
Additionally, some companies may force faster deliveries or penalize delays, indirectly pressuring drivers to exceed speed limits Moreover, truckers’ payment structure can sometimes be linked to how quickly they deliver, creating a stressful situation where drivers feel compelled to bend the rules to earn more. These pressures create difficulty for drivers who might feel confused between following the law and meeting company expectations.
For example, a company might set unrealistic delivery times, making it tough for drivers to meet them without stretching their hours. Additionally, some companies may punish delays, indirectly pressuring drivers to exceed speed limits or work longer hours.
California trucking laws
Trucking law in California has regulations and rules to govern the operation of commercial trucks within the state. These laws aim to ensure road safety, safeguard workers’ rights, and manage the transportation of goods effectively.
Special rules and regulations for truckers
Here are some rules and regulations for truckers:
Hour of service
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations, truck drivers must abide by strict rules about driving and mandatory rest periods. Drivers carrying property cannot drive for more than 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty. Moreover, truckers need to take a 30-minute break after driving for 8 consecutive hours.
Large Trucks should not weigh over 80,000 pounds while travelling. Upon exceeding the weight limit, it can be difficult for the trucker to maneuver the truck or stop in an emergency. Some trucking companies ignore the loading laws, risking the trucker’s life.
Drug and alcohol testing
The FMCSA has set standards for drug and alcohol testing in accordance with the Department of Transportation’s regulation 49 CFR Part 40. Failing to comply with these rules could lead to the trucking company facing civil penalties. Tests are usually conducted before hiring, after accidents, and at random times during the year.
Common substances tested for include:
- Amphetamines and
Truck drivers in the U.S. must meet the qualifications outlined by the DOT Rules and Regulations in their operating state. The basic requirement is to hold a state-issued driver’s license. Drivers handling large trucks weighing over 26,000 pounds need a special Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) to operate these vehicles.
Likewise, meeting health standards is crucial for safe driving. This involves maintaining 20/40 vision, using corrective lenses, and having good hearing abilities. Drivers must also be proficient in English as it’s necessary for reading road signs and communicating with officials or colleagues. Additionally, individuals with clean record are only eligible to obtain a CDL license. However, many trucking companies may have stricter internal policies.
Perform regular maintenance
The FMCSA sets maintenance standards for commercial trucks. Trucking companies must conduct regular inspections to check their vehicle’s condition. If they find a problem, they must fix the truck immediately.
Unfortunately, some trucking companies skip these checks to cut costs. They ignore inspections or maintenance altogether, making trucks unsafe for the road. This neglect can cause serious accidents if the vehicle malfunctions.
The most common trucking safety violations
Trucking companies usually breach the laws to make more profit. Sometimes, companies violate the law to reduce their operating costs. All these add immense pressure to the truck drivers, compelling them to take risky steps on the road, violating thesafety rules. Some traffic safety regulations that they break include the following:
Speeding: Truckers are forced to deliver loads as soon as possible, which compels them to break speed limits.
Improper lane changes: When a driver changes from one lane to another without signalling or indicating intention, it endangers other drivers on the road.
Reckless driving: Trucks are difficult to maneuver due to their weight, height, and load. So, when a trucker is practising reckless driving, it could lead to an accident.
Improper Turns: When a truck makes improper turns, it can collide with other vehicles or pedestrians. This is because trucks often need to make wide turns, leading them to end up in another lane.
Failure to obey traffic rules: Failing to follow traffic rules and regulations like traffic lights, speeding, and more could lead to damage to the vehicle, body injuries and even death.
Why trucking companies pressure truck drivers to break the law?
Many truck drivers are independent contractors and are financially indebted due to their leases with the trucking company. Here’s where the companies take advantage of truck drivers. The drivers, on the other hand, have to follow the company’s orders to get the full payment.
On top of that, these companies often hire novice drivers. These drivers don’t realize that the directions given by the company are against the law. Some truck drivers are afraid to speak up against their employers.
Safety violation will put innocent lives at risk
Safety violations on the road directly threaten innocent lives in various ways. The risks escalate significantly when truckers overlook safety protocols such as driving while fatigued, overloading vehicles, neglecting maintenance, or engaging in reckless behaviors like speeding. These violations directly increase the chance of accidents. Being tired slows down reaction time. Also, overloaded trucks or poorly maintained trucks can be tough to control. These breach of laws create an accident-prone situation, risking the lives of innocent road users.
Get in touch with an experienced truck accident lawyer now!
Getting the right Truck Accident Attorney can truly make a significant positive impact during this challenging phase in your life. Without an attorney, you are wasting valuable time and potentially receiving around 40% less in settlements, which could come much quicker with professional assistance.
Therefore, you can seek legal help from our Orange County truck accident attorney. We offer free consultations. Feel free to reach out if you have queries or want an estimate of what you will rightfully receive. At Nordean Law, we aim to secure the best possible outcome for each client. Contact us at 888.254.3222.