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Federal Regulations of Commercial Motor Vehicles

Federal law places strict regulations on the operation of commercial vehicles because commercial vehicle related accidents tend to be much more catastrophic than a wreck between two passenger vehicles.  Further, commercial vehicles are also harder to stop, have more momentum, decreased maneuverability in tight situations, and much larger blind spots than passenger vehicles.  Therefore, commercial vehicles and trucking companies are required to put extra emphasis on safety.

An average passenger vehicle weighs two tons or 4,000 pounds.  An average commercial truck weighs up to forty tons or 80,000 pounds fully loaded.  A commercial truck weighs an average of 20 times more than a passenger vehicle and is much larger than a passenger car.  The weight and length difference play a huge impact in the operation of a commercial vehicle.  The heavier and larger a vehicle is, the longer it takes to stop.  When making a turn, the commercial vehicle has to slow down to a much lower speed to safely make the turn.  Similarly, commercial vehicles require more room to safely make an emergency lane change.

Another danger with commercial vehicles is their height.  Taller vehicles have a higher center of gravity and will roll easier than a lower vehicle.  When taking turns or going up ramps, trucks must slow down to a drastically lower speed than passenger vehicles.  Also because the vehicle is so much larger, it creates a significant wind gust that can actually push a smaller vehicle.  Even worse, smaller vehicles can actually be pushed or pulled under a commercial vehicle trailer if they are too close.

Commercial vehicle drivers are required to be trained on the proper way to safely operate a vehicle.  They are also required to inspect their vehicle prior to driving it to ensure it is safe to operate.  Driving a commercial vehicle takes more skill and attention than a typical vehicle, so drivers are limited on how many hours than they can log in a certain period.  All of these protocols are in place to protect the public from preventable accidents.  However, drivers and the companies they work for often skip inspections and cheat their log books.  If you are driving near a commercial vehicle, you should exercise an abundance of caution.

When trucking companies or truck drivers violate the federal regulations, they needlessly place the safety of the public at risk.  If you have been injured because of the carelessness of a commercial vehicle driver, you may need an attorney to handle the case.  If you or a loved one has been suffered because of a commercial vehicle, contact us today for a free consultation.