Trucking Regulations in New Jersey
DOT Regulations for Truck Drivers
Commercial trucks and tractor-trailers are known for being the most dangerous vehicles on public roadways. That’s due in large part to the sheer size of these monstrous vehicles, some of which can weigh up to 40 tons, and the way they are constructed. In fact, the size and weight of commercial trucks make them far more difficult to control, quickly stop, or maneuver out of collision-critical predicaments than standard automobiles. They may also carry various types of cargo or hazardous materials that pose dangers to motorists nearby.
Because commercial trucks pose increased risks of causing accidents, as well as serious and fatal injuries, the federal government has an interest in regulating them for the benefit of public safety. In the U.S. today, the trucking industry is subject to numerous state and federal regulations that address issues ranging from the regular inspection and maintenance of rigs to the truckers who operate them.
Bendit Weinstock, P.A. is a proven New Jersey law firm that has been fighting for clients throughout the state since 1957. Over the years, our personal injury attorneys have leveraged decades of collective experience to protect the rights of victims harmed in all types of preventable accidents, including truck accidents involving tractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles.
If you would like to discuss a potential case with a member of our team, call (973) 736-9800 or contact us online for a FREE consultation.
Types of Truck Drivers
The trucking industry is diverse as there are many types of vehicles that are considered to be trucks. Each type of truck driver comes with its' own unique challenges and are sometimes regulated differently. It's important to know what regulations apply to each individual type of truck. These types include:
Dry Van Truckers
Refrigerated Freight Drivers
Local, Regional, and OTR Drivers
LTL Freight Truckers
Examples of Trucking Safety Regulations
The U.S. government, through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), enforces many different types of regulations that apply to the trucking industry. While various aspects of the industry are regulated through such laws, they all serve the common purpose of promoting safety on our roads.
Common examples of the safety issues trucking regulations address include:
- Vehicle Maintenance – Regular vehicle inspection and maintenance to address and fix any potential hazards, including old, defective, or non-working components that may increase accident risks.
- Cargo – Regulations for the proper securement of cargo, as improperly secured cargo can shift during transit and compromise the stability of trucks, or fall onto roads created hazards.
- Vehicle Weight – The FMCSA enforces strict vehicle weight restrictions, which place maximum weight limits on commercial trucks according to the type of truck and product being used. Overloaded trucks are more prone to causing accidents and causing more severe injuries.
- Driver Fatigue – Tired drivers are just as dangerous as drunk drivers, according to studies from the AAA Traffic Safety Foundation, which means that tired truckers can pose elevated risks of devastating accidents. To ensure drivers are well-rested, the FMCSA enforces Hours-of-Service rules which place limitations on the number of hours truckers can be on duty and behind the wheel in a given day or week, and also require mandatory rest breaks during a shift. There are also additional regulations which require drivers and companies to log the hours they drive using E-logs.
- Drug & Alcohol Use – Impaired truck drivers are a hazard to everyone, which is why there are strict regulations pertaining to the licensing and hiring of drivers with any substance abuse problems. Additionally, trucking companies are subject to requirements for the regular testing of drivers for drugs or alcohol.
- Trucking Companies – Trucking operators are ultimately responsible for their fleet and their employees, and must abide by numerous regulations in their day-to-day operations. These can include regulations for hiring, training, and continuing the employment of qualified drivers, and for taking reasonable steps to reduce risks of preventable accidents.
Trucking Regulations & Personal Injury Cases
Trucking regulations are critical not only for ensuring public safety, but also to helping victims injured in preventable trucking wrecks prove what companies and truckers should have been doing to avoid them. When violations lead to truck accidents, victims can work with proven attorneys like those at Bendit Weinstock, P.A. to illustrate how trucking companies or drivers failed to comply with the law, acted negligently, and caused a preventable accident for which they should be held accountable.
By law trucking companies must abide by these regulations, and they must take reasonable steps to reduce accidents. Any failure to do so – whether it’s a clear regulatory violation, violation of a traffic or criminal law (i.e. driving drunk), or another act of negligence – means that they have failed to uphold their legal obligations and meet their duty of care. This breach of duty can provide the grounds for holding them liable for victims’ damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, among others.
Unfortunately, trucking operators and the commercial insurance companies which often represent them against personal injury claims brought by victims are corporations. As corporations, they care more about profits than they do people, and may work aggressively to pay victims as little as they possibly can. By working with our team, victims can level the playing field with these corporate powers and benefit from our resources, experience, and passion for fighting for full compensation.
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Trucking accident cases involving regulatory violations demand the attention of seasoned personal injury lawyers who can initiate the investigations needed to identify an underlying cause and violation, and protect the rights of victims as they pursue the justice and compensation they deserve.
To discuss a potential truck accident case anywhere throughout the state of New Jersey, contact us to request a FREE case review.
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Bendit Weinstock, P.A. is a premier firm in New Jersey representing clients in a variety of legal matters. Established in 1957, it is one of the oldest and most experienced law firms in the state.