While there are plenty of safe truck drivers who follow the rules of the road, unfortunately, there are also drivers out there and trucking companies that ignored the rules and place the public at risk. The weight, height, and speed at which huge trucks and 18-wheelers regularly can bring a great deal of harm in the event of a casualty. This is the reason why truck drivers have a lawful responsibility to commit to safe driving practices at any minute they are on the road.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the most common violations the trucking industry commit.
1. Driving for work during extended hours and driver fatigue
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), the exclusive safety standards that professional truck drivers and motor drivers should follow in running commercial motor vehicles, limit the number of hours that a truck driver can drive his vehicle. However, in order to earn a living, driving a truck is often necessary even if you have to drive far too many hours without having adequate rest. This is a risk not only to the driver who is breaking the rules but to other drivers on the road as well.
2. Keeping the other logbook
This “other” logbook is the fraudulent one. Some truck drivers would try to outsmart law enforcement officials, so they keep two sets of logbooks: one contains the real record and the other contains false information about the number of hours driven.
3. Driving too fast
Speeding is one of the most common driving violations by truck drivers. Of course, when it comes to truck driver jobs, you must avoid traffic as possible and arrive at the destination as fast as you can. However, this is can have negative consequences. Big trucks and 18-wheelers in specific take longer to stop and switch direction and can be vulnerable to tipping. This is the reason why speeding in a tractor-trailer is more dangerous than in the average vehicle.
4. Not wearing a seatbelt
Some truck drivers fail to wear their seatbelts. Just like everyone who seats inside a moving vehicle, truck drivers are also required to wear their seatbelts. This order is intended as a protection to prevent drivers from being thrown from or within the vehicle in the event of an accident. But truck drivers also have to work long hours and they may want to remove their seatbelts so they can drive comfortably, leading them to go without wearing a seatbelt in violation of FMCSA requirements.
5. Irregular vehicle maintenance
The FMCSR also implements strict vehicle maintenance standards that are purposive to assure that a vehicle is safe. The daily maintenance necessary for a semi-truck or other commercial vehicles is sustenance on the brakes, tires, lighting, and other systems. They usually do mandate routine inspections and are intended to help drivers stay safe and alert. For instance, they may find that there are hazardous brake issues on your vehicles prior to the brakes failing.
Aside from that, tire maintenance is also crucial. However, some companies would use “re-capped” tires or tire “re-treads” that can keep tires longer in service in an effort to save more money. Unluckily, these refurbished tires are prone to failing, which can lead to dangerous, and even life-threatening circumstances.
6. Not complying with loading rules
The FMCSR restricts big trucks to a combined weight of 80,000 pounds for freeway travel. If these rules are violated, it can make the truck more difficult to control, and too weighty to stop or steer properly. The FMCSR also has specific instructions on how cargo must be loaded and secured. If the trailer is loaded unequally or the cargo’s centre of gravity is off-balance, the vehicle can become threatening and hard to manoeuvre.
7. Using drugs or alcohol while driving
Commercial drivers are not allowed to use drugs or alcohol while they’re driving. Some officials perform random alcohol and drug tests that help ensure that a driver is safe to operate. However, if a driver failed the test and was permitted to drive for whatever reason, they may cause a severe accident.
If a commercial driver does cause an injury or accident while he or she is under the influence of alcohol or drugs while driving, the court can give the driver punishment and even the company that hired them with a recognition of significant damages.
8. Don’t have enough training and hiring drivers improperly
Trucking businesses are legally required to ensure that their drivers are duly trained in safe driving methods and defensive driving, and are suitable to drive. In most situations, truck drivers should have a Commercial Driver’s License or CDL, which make sure that they are rightly trained to drive an 18-wheeler. They are also required to have a valid medical examination for them to be able to prove that they are medically fit to operate the vehicle.