- posted: Jun. 23, 2016
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
Tractor-trailers, also called semi-trucks or big-rigs, are massive vehicles weighing up to 40 tons, capable of transporting large amounts of cargo. Because of their size, their shape, and their ability to carry hazardous materials, 18-wheelers and other large commercial trucks are more highly regulated than other vehicles. Accordingly, truck drivers have a variety of responsibilities that they must meet to help prevent accidents.
Like any other drivers in Georgia, truck drivers have a responsibility to pay attention to the road. This means that they must avoid using a cellphone without a hands-free device. They must also avoid texting. Additionally, truckers are required to help prevent accidents by refraining from drinking alcohol. Federal law limits commercial drivers to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04 percent.
Responsibilities unique to commercial drivers
To help them stay awake and focused, truckers are required to follow a series of regulatory rules mandating breaks and limiting the number of hours they can work in a day or in a week. These drivers are also responsible for logging their hours so that they can be reviewed later in case of emergency or discrepancy.
Truckers are also responsible for the condition of their vehicles in some instances. Particularly, they are responsible for inspecting the vehicle each day and fixing problems found during these inspections. Similarly, drivers are usually responsible for ensuring that cargo is loaded securely and properly into their truck’s trailer. An exception exists for sealed trailers or containers that a driver is not allowed to inspect. Operators have additional responsibilities when carrying flammable, explosive, corrosive or hazardous cargo. They must follow all rules and regulations governing the proper transport of these materials.
If you have been involved in a truck accident, consult an experienced Atlanta accident attorney at McMenamy Law LLC to learn about your options.