Columbia, SC – Trucking is regulated to a high degree by both state and federal authorities due to the nature of driving long distances on interstate roads and the possibility of accidents. There are also commercial licensing requirements to ensure that the drivers have adequate experience and training, and that they are given regular rest periods to avoid fatigue or distracted driving. Businesses that do not follow all of these rules and cause a truck accident may face legal action from a civil injury lawyer.
The state’s commercial driving regulations
Truck drivers must follow certain regulations that are codified into South Carolina’s laws.
The state’s department of motor vehicles administers tests for drivers to become licensed to drive commercial vehicles and obtain their CDL. The class of vehicle that they will be operating may have slightly different requirements based on its weight and dimensions. All commercial motor vehicle registrants must also concurrently possess a USDOT number to transport hazardous materials or more than eight passengers at a time.
Aside from these licensing requirements, there are a number of other services that are recommended to trucking businesses for safety purposes. Third party companies will often offer safety assessments of vehicles, drivers, and the effectiveness of procedures in place that are meant to catch problems. An independent, outside company can also do an audit of the business to look for issues with compliance with trucking regulations, safety, and other red flags that can result in liability or insurance problems. These audits can then result in recommended corrective steps that will return to business to compliance with both state and federal regulations.
In addition to these steps, many businesses will also engage in regular safety training. This is especially important as things like new technology and government regulations can cause major changes in the business. All drivers should be aware of upcoming changes and reminded of basic safety procedures at regular intervals.
Negligent hiring practices
Even if a trucking business is following all of the state’s rules and regulations, it is still possible that they can hire dangerous drivers. Some individuals may have a history of traffic violations, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or disregarding mandatory safety laws.
Evidence of these negligent hiring practices can become relevant in a civil lawsuit if the driver has caused an accident. The victim can argue that the business knew or should have known about the driver’s past, yet proceeded to hire the person anyway.
Deciding if a lawsuit against a trucking business is necessary
Some firms focus their efforts on assisting accident victims who were hurt by a negligent truck driver. Louthian Law Firm is available to discuss the possibility of a lawsuit with local clients in the Columbia area.
Firm contact info:
1116 Blanding St., #3A, Columbia, SC 29201