As a truck driver, you know how important it is to be safe on the road. Even a minor accident can result in significant damage to a vehicle or significant injuries to those involved. However, if you are involved in a trucking accident, it is important to know what your rights and responsibilities are.
Know the Law
The best way to avoid getting into an accident is to follow the letter of the law at all times. This means obeying the speed limit, not driving while impaired and getting the required amount of sleep prior to operating your commercial vehicle. Finally, make sure that the truck has been inspected and that there is paperwork to prove that this was done.
What’s the Legal Limit for Commercial Drivers?
According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) guidelines, a driver with a commercial license cannot operate a motor vehicle if his or her blood alcohol content is .04 percent or higher. This is lower than the .08 percent limit set for drivers of passenger vehicles. If a police officer believes that a driver is impaired, a drunk driving charge may apply even if his or her BAC is at or below the legal limit. Those who are impaired when they cause an accident may face enhanced criminal charges.
Get as Many Details as Possible
If you are in an accident, it is important to get as many details as possible. This may make it easier to defend yourself against claims that you were responsible for causing the accident. Relevant information may include how fast you were going or if you tried to brake. It may also be important to prove that your truck was in good working shape and that you weren’t tired.
Have an Attorney’s Number in Your Wallet
In an accident involving an employer’s vehicle, it may be possible to file legal action against the employer for personal injury. In some cases, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits instead. If you weren’t at fault for the crash, you may be able to sue the driver who caused it. This may make it possible to seek compensation for lost wages, medical bills and other damages related to the accident.
As a truck driver, it is important to know and understand the rules of the road. In addition to driving safely, you must ensure that your truck is in good working condition to reduce the odds of being found liable for negligence in an accident.
Author Info: Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake. You can find her on Twitter.