Regulations for CDL drivers.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the rules and requirements for commercial drivers across the country. Each state has its own application process, but all states must adhere to federal requirements. Commercial trucks make up a large percentage of roadway traffic with interstate transport and local deliveries.
Commercial trucks increase roadway danger.
The size and weight of a commercial truck, and the specific cargo loads they carry can increase dangerous conditions for other drivers when an accident occurs. Commercial trucks are usually on a schedule and may be more harried, as they drive through residential areas where people are walking or playing. According to the United States Department of Transportation Safety Administration, there are over 500,000 truck accidents every year involving multiple vehicles and causing highway fatalities, significant property damage and bodily injury.
CDL driver violations impact on accidents.
Safe driving can be impacted by negligent acts of commercial drivers and trucking companies who may be party to violations of law. A driver can be disqualified or suspended due to certain roadway incidents falling into:
Serious moving violations include speeding 15 or above over posted limits (in Nebraska, a CDL holder can have their license suspended for up to a year for speeding over 15 miles per hour), following too closely, reckless operation, erratic lane changes, texting while driving or driving a CMV without the proper clearances and licensing.
Railroad violations that include ignoring railroad crossing restrictions through device or enforcement official, not slowing down when required to, failing to stop if tracks are not clear, stopping before clearing railroad grade crossing, inadequate undercarriage clearance and a complete failure to stop.
Out-of-Service violations that violate a driver or vehicle out-of-service order while transporting non-hazardous materials or hazardous materials required to be placarded; and operating a vehicle designed to transport 18 or more passengers, including the driver.
A CDL holder convicted of a first DUI loses their license for a year in Nebraska. A second DUI conviction causes the permanent revocation of the CDL. Nebraska does not allow CDL holders to attend driver improvement courses to reacquire their license after suspension or lessen their penalties. Additionally, it does not allow them to enter into plea agreements for DUIs or serious traffic violations, but instead requires them to plead guilty and accept the court’s punishments or not guilty and take their case to trial.
A “foreign” traffic violation is a violation that occurs in another state. Nebraska law allows its courts to include foreign violations when setting penalties. A CDL holder could be punished more severely for having a previous, out-of-state traffic conviction.
Apart from CDL violation restrictions, drivers have limitations on road time for trucks carrying property cargo limiting maximum hours driven; minimum hours off duty; and required rest breaks.
Contact an attorney.
Tractor trailer truck accidents involve multiple complex factors that require specific knowledge of the commercial trucking industry, extensive experience in civil injury laws, and sophisticated investigative capabilities to collect evidence and analyze it to most strongly support a negligence claim. If a driver was in violation of any of their CDL requirements, it could strengthen a legal claim against them. Call USAttorneys.com to find quality representation.