If you or your loved one has been in an accident with any kind of commercial vehicle, be it an 18-wheeler or a semi, you know the kind of serious damage that a vehicle of that size can cause. Big trucks can be a very real hazard and it is important to understand the safety regulations that they are required to follow in order for you to make sure that you get the justice that you deserve. There are federal and state regulations, with the federal regulations mostly being listed in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. There are many parts to these regulations, one of them being about the type of license that the truck driver has to have in order to drive a commercial vehicle legally.
The regulation that speaks to the licensure of truck drivers is Part 383: Commercial Driver’s License Standards; Requirements and Penalties in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The purpose of this regulation is to help lower the frequency and even prevent accidents, fatalities, and injuries involving a truck or bus. It requires the drivers of these vehicles to have a single commercial motor vehicle driver’s license and disqualifies drivers who operate commercial vehicles unsafely. This is important because a truck driver must have a different type of license than someone who drives a smaller type of vehicle because of the size of the machine that they are operating and its’ hazards.
Part 383 prohibits a driver from having more than one commercial motor vehicle driver’s license so that if someone operates a truck unsafely, they can no longer operate trucks instead of using another license from a different state. This part requires that drivers notify their current employer and their home state of certain convictions and that they provide previous employment information when applying for employment as an operator of a commercial motor vehicle. The employer should research the person they are about to hire to make sure that they can safely do their job and do not have a history of accidents. Employers are not allowed to let someone who has a suspended license operate a truck even if they are understaffed because unsafe drivers should not be on the road regardless of what a company needs.
There is an established period of disqualification and penalties for the people convicted of criminal or other serious traffic violations to ensure that they will not act unsafely again because they were allowed to return too soon to driving. There are also established (both knowledge and skill) tests and licensing requirements that truck drivers have to pass/meet in order to operate a commercial vehicle. It is important for someone who is driving a truck that large to understand exactly how it operates and about the mechanics of it, should something go wrong. These tests are regulated federally so that they are accepted in every state that the driver may pass through.
It is important to get the licensing information from the driver of the commercial vehicle that you are in an accident with in case any of these parts of the regulation have been violated. Violation of this regulation could turn a small car accident case into a neglect case that is taken very seriously under federal law. If you were in an accident with a truck and sustained a serious injury or you don’t know what to do, let our skilled Greenville, SC auto accident attorneys work alongside you and help you through this process. At Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm, we deal with cases like these everyday and want you to know that we will help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 864-232-4273!
Dan Pruitt is a Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from University of Georgia, and has been practicing law for 25 years. Dan Pruitt believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.