Are There Different Laws for Truck Drivers?

Injury Attorneys Discuss Accidents in Austin and Throughout Texas

On September 16, a driver was killed when a rock-bearing semitrailer on U. S. 290 in Bastrop County attempted to avoid traffic, causing the truck to swerve and dislodge one of the rocks into the window of the other driver.

Not all accidents involving trucks are fatal; however, a higher percentage of them are because of the sheer size of the vehicle and possibly because of the load that the vehicle is carrying. As this is the case, special rules and regulations are in place for truck drivers that are not applicable to other drivers.

Do Truckers Have to Follow Special Rules?

As trucks are larger, many weighing about 80,000 pounds and, therefore, more unwieldy, they require a special driver’s license and a formal driving education. Whereas, a car accidents are more likely to occur due to recklessness, inattention or because the driver is distracted. Truck accidents are more likely than cars to have problems seeing cars in their blind spots, or have issues with loads, breaks or acceleration because of their size.

Due to their size, experience is necessary and is more heavily weighted in a truck accident case. It is important to know how many hours the driver has had behind the wheel. A standard licensed driver cannot be sued for being inexperienced; however, a truck driver, who is an employee of a trucking company, can be brought to court for being inexperienced and ill-trained.

To help prevent accidents, special safety rules are in place to enforce routine maintenance and inspection of large commercial vehicles. Unlike a car, truck drivers often need distinct permits if they specialize in oversized or overweight loads. Additionally, there are laws regarding the loading and unloading of shipments from the vehicle. Commercial trucks must also follow hazardous material regulations and other registration laws applicable to commercial vehicles.

Furthermore, the truck driver insurance has a significantly higher protective insurance coverage, as truck driving accidents generally cause more damage; therefore, much more money is invested in the vehicle in the case of an accident, which also means more compensation could be awarded in an accident.

Two Important Differences: The Truck Driver’s Employer and Employers’ Lawyers

  • An accident involving a truck often involves the truck driver’s employer along with the driver for the court case. The Federal Carrier Motor Safety Regulations makes the employer of the truck driver responsible for the driver’s driving.
  • Truck drivers, because they generally belong to a company with their own lawyers, usually have quick access to lawyers to begin their defense early. These lawyers are experienced at protecting the trucking company in the event of accidents.

Injured By A Truck And Need An Attorney?

If you are someone you know has been injured or killed in a truck accident, contact our injury lawyer in Austin. We understand the physical and financial repercussions of a serious accident and will work aggressively against negligent trucking companies. For a free consultation, call us at (512) 474-8346.



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