If you or someone you love has been the victim of a Chicago truck accident you may be wondering what types of driver or truck company negligence could have been involved in your accident. Contact a Chicago truck crash attorney who can help you determine who is at fault and should be held responsible.
One place to start is to look at the commercial drivers’ license standards and training requirements that must be followed for both truck drivers and the employers who hire them. It may help to understand what some of the training requirements are in order to determine negligence in a Chicago truck accident.
Special Training Requirements for Entry-Level Truck Drivers
There are 4 areas of instruction that must be provided for entry-level truck drivers. These 4 areas include:
- Requirements for Driver Qualification – There are specific federal rules that must be followed concerning medical examination procedures, medical certification, general qualifications and responsibilities, and disqualifications that are based on a variety of orders, offenses and the loss of driving privileges.
- Drivers’ Hours of Service – There are limitations on the number of hours that a truck driver can drive, along with requirements to be off-duty for a particular period of time, record of duty status preparation and exceptions. In order to prevent truck accidents, fatigue countermeasures are also addressed.
- Driver Wellness – Training on basic health measures that incorporate a healthy diet along with exercise. Avoiding the excessive use of alcohol is also addressed.
- Whistleblower Protection – An employee has the right to question any safety practices of an employer without the risk that they will lose their job or that they will face retaliation of any kind for raising up concerns of safety.
Employers’ Responsibilities for Truck Drivers
Employers of truck drivers have certain responsibilities that must be met. These include:
- Cannot employ a truck driver who is not qualified and has not received driver training;
- Must use instructors who are qualified (accredited) to train truck drivers; and
- Be able to provide evidence of the truck drivers’ certifications.
Truck Driver Regulations: Hours of Service Regulations exist for hours of service for truck drivers:
- Maximum driving time;
- Driver’s record of duty status/declared out of service; and
- Automatic on-board recording devices.
If a driver were to violate these federal trucking regulations-for instance by exceeding the maximum driving time-your Chicago truck accident lawyer may be able to use evidence of this negligence while building your truck accident claim.
Truck Driver Regulations: Hours of Service (HOS)
There are regulations that limit when and how long the driver of a commercial motor vehicle may drive. These regulations are in place to ensure that drivers are able to safely operate their vehicles.
Final Rule on Hours of Service (HOS)
The final rule on hours of service, which became effective January 19, 2009, are that a driver can drive a commercial vehicle-such as a semi truck-up to 11 hours within a 14 hour, non-extendable window from the start of the driver’s workday. This must come after spending at least 10 consecutive hours off duty.
Drivers can restart calculations of the weekly on-duty limits after having at least 34 consecutive hours of being off duty. This is known as the 34-hour restart.
Truck Driver Regulations: Common Questions
- Do HOS regulations apply to intrastate commerce? No, intrastate commercial vehicle regulations fall under the jurisdiction of each state.
- What are some of the penalties for violating HOS? Penalties can include a driver being shut down roadside, all the way to being fined.
- Can a driver be called after 8 hours of being off-duty to report to work 2 hours later? Yes, since the regulations don’t control communications between drivers and motor carriers, however, a driver is not required to drive during the 10 hours of being off-duty.
When truck driver requirements are followed the roads become safer. Unfortunately, not all truck drivers or trucking companies adhere to federal trucking regulations and truck driver negligence can lead to a serious accident. If you have been involved in a Chicago truck crash contact a Chicago truck accident lawyer.
If you or a family member were involved in this accident please contact us immediately. Our experienced Illinois accident lawyers are happy to answer any legal questions you may have. This is a free, zero pressure service and you are not obligated to hire our law firm if you do contact us. If you would like this blog removed please contact us and we will promptly accommodate your request.
As a service to the residents of Chicago, Aurora, Rockford, and Illinois in general, the Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle, P.C. will frequently publish blogs about local accidents. We do this to raise awareness about the common types of Illinois motor vehicle accidents that can result in serious injuries and/or fatalities.