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3 strict laws that aim to limit semi-truck collisions

On Behalf of Bennerotte & Associates, P.A.

Mar 5, 2024

Truck/Semi Accidents

Any car crash could lead to severe injury or worse for those traveling in a motor vehicle. Sometimes, collisions are so severe that they put someone in the hospital or leave them unable to work. A crash between a passenger vehicle and a semi-truck is more likely than the average collision to produce major injuries and massive economic losses.

Federal regulators have implemented numerous statutes with the goal of minimizing how many commercial crashes occur each year. Special rules apply to commercial vehicles but not to those in passenger vehicles.

Stricter alcohol regulations

The average driver must have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% to fail a breast test. The state can bring charges against someone over that limit even if did not seem intoxicated when interacting with the police officer. For someone driving a commercial truck, the BAC limit is far stricter. Someone with a BAC of 0.04% could face charges if they get arrested while driving a commercial truck.

Limits on drive time

Although driving while fatigued is dangerous, it is technically not illegal for the average driver. People can drive for an entire day if they so choose when they are in their own vehicles. However, those operating commercial trucks must limit how long they drive. Federal Hours of Service rules place restrictions on drive time per shift. There are also rules that limit how long someone can drive every seven or eight days.

The federal no-text rule

Rules about distracted driving largely exist on a state-by-state basis. The rules are different in every jurisdiction, leading to a lot of confusion and compliance issues. Commercial truckers cannot claim ignorance regarding state law if they get caught texting while driving. There is a federal rule prohibiting the manual use of a mobile phone when someone is in control of a commercial vehicle. Regardless of what state they are in at the time of a traffic stop, they could face citations that might put their commercial license at risk.

When a semi-truck driver violates these or other traffic laws, they could very well cause a crash. Filing an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit after a semi-truck collision is a reasonable reaction to situations like these, especially when traffic infractions contributed to an incident that caused a crash victim harm.