Federal Trucking Laws

Serving Gainesville, Jacksonville, Atlanta areas

A major reason why truck accident cases are more complicated than car accident cases is because of the complex laws that govern the trucking industry. Every state has its own set of trucking laws, but federal laws apply nationwide, holding commercial truck drivers to a high standard of safety.

Federal trucking laws dictate every aspect of how trucking companies operate.

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

Federal law requires motor carrier companies to use strict hiring and training processes for new drivers. All drivers must have a valid commercial driver's license (CDL). The process of obtaining a CDL involves special training and rigorous testing.

Depending on the size of the truck you are driving and the type of cargo you are carrying (e.g. hazardous materials), you may need a different type of CDL that requires more extensive training. It is the trucking company's responsibility to make sure their drivers are capably trained to drive each specific type of truck they use.

Truck Driver Hiring and Training

Throughout the hiring process, trucking companies must also obtain records from the driver's former employer, including any violations and/or accidents that occurred in the last three years. Federal law requires companies to keep these records throughout the driver's employment period, and for three total years after the driver has left the company.

Sometimes, motor carrier companies skimp on proper training or hire drivers who have a spotty record because they are so desperate to get their deliveries out on the road. If a trucking company allows an unexperienced, reckless, or improperly trained driver out on the road and he causes a truck accident, the trucking company can be held responsible for any injuries that occur.

Hours of Service Regulations

Hours of service (HOS) regulations are a controversial, but necessary aspect of federal trucking law. These rules are designed to prevent fatigued driving by outlining exactly how many consecutive hours a trucker can drive, and how many hours they must rest before returning to the road.

Trucking companies often impose unrealistic schedules on drivers, making it impossible for them to meet delivery deadlines without breaking the HOS regulations. When a fatigued driver causes a truck accident, both the driver and the trucking company can be held liable.

If you have been seriously injured in a truck accident, we can help you investigate the accident to determine if federal trucking laws were violated. Please contact The Chestnut Firm today to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Atlanta truck accident lawyers.

We represent injured truck accident victims in Gainesville and Jacksonville, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; Charlotte, North Carolina; and nationwide.