Truck Driver Requirements

Truck drivers have a difficult job. They are asked to get cargo from place to place as fast as they can, while honoring not only the rules of the road, but also rules that are particular to their status as truck drivers. Even though they are held accountable for more than just obeying the speed limits of a given road, public safety demands that they recognize other factors that affect the safety of themselves and their fellow drivers who they share the road with.

Allowable Operating Hours of Service

There are laws and rules concerning the number of hours per day and week that truck drivers are allowed to operate, as well as how long a driver can go before taking a mandated break. These rules vary depending on many factors, including whether a commercial truck is transporting property or people. These laws came about due to the number of accidents involving fatigued and drowsy drivers.

Drug and Alcohol Testing

Businesses that own or operate commercial motor vehicles must perform drug and alcohol tests on the employees who drive those vehicles. This requirement includes both interstate and intrastate drivers. In the event of an accident, drivers must be tested for alcohol and controlled substances. Federal regulations state that the alcohol test must happen within eight hours of the accident and the controlled substances test must be performed within 32 hours.

Tampering With Equipment

There are laws that forbid truck drivers from tampering with the equipment on board their rigs that measures their time behind the wheel when the driver is in driving duty status and non-driving duty status. Tampering with this equipment is a violation of law that could result in a citation or further prosecution, especially if it has contributed to an accident or fatality. When an accident happens, truck accident attorneys will investigate if the truck’s equipment was tampered with or if there was a lack of maintenance of the truck’s crucial equipment.

Special Rules for Good Reasons

Truck drivers operate heavy machines, even when they aren't carrying big loads and thereby present a greater risk to other drivers. They are required to avoid drugs and alcohol while behind the wheel and honor their hours-of-service obligations to ensure public safety. In the event of an accident, experts suggest that you first try to note everything you can about the accident and call the police immediately.