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What Are Commonly-Violated Rules for Truck Drivers in California?

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2022 | Personal Injury

Victims of car accidents often suffer serious injuries, but the situation can be worse for victims of commercial truck accidents. The impact of the crash can leave them with life-long injuries or claim their lives prematurely. So, truck drivers have unique duties of care compared to typical vehicle drivers.

Unfortunately, most truck drivers often violate the regulations stipulated for commercial drivers. The penalties can be severe if you are facing charges for being a negligent truck driver. Consult a personal injury law firm in California to help you fight the charges and protect yourself from having your license suspended.

What Are My Responsibilities as a CDL Holder in California?

Professional truck drivers must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to earn a paycheck. Any individual who holds a CDL has an enhanced responsibility to comply with the rules and regulations of the road. Any traffic citation, whether light or severe, can lead to the suspension or revocation of the license.

Revoking your license could impact your personal life by making it impossible to earn a living. It also comes with the risk of hefty fines and penalties. If your CDL license is suspended for violating various truck driver rules, you can hire a truck accident attorney in Torrance to defend you and fight to reinstate your license.

What Are the Rules and Regulations for Truckers in California?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) aims to maintain safety in the commercial trucking industry by imposing federal laws for trucking companies and drivers. Some of them include the following:

  • A maximum speed limit of 55 miles per hour when driving on a California freeway as stipulated in California Vehicle Code 22406 CVC
  • Reckless driving laws
  • DUI laws
  • Limitation on hours of service
  • Truck and load weight and length
  • Rules and CalTrans-approved routes
  • Truck lane rules

A commercial truck driver must be aware of all these rules and regulations, as ignorance of the law is no defense. However, if you got into an accident for violating a regulation you knew nothing about, don’t go to trial alone. Contact a Torrance truck accident attorney for legal representation.

How Do Truck Drivers Violate Regulations?

Unfortunately, despite knowing they could have their CDL suspended for violating rules, many truck drivers still find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Common truck driver violations include the following:

Hours of Service Violations

The FMCSA stipulates the recommended hours of service regulations to reduce the rate of drowsy and fatigued truck drivers. The regulations limit how long a person can be behind the wheel without taking breaks. The number of hours per shift for each driver depends on the schedule and what the truck is carrying.

The administration also imposes sleeper berth provisions. Truck drivers must take specific breaks after every so many hours of driving and rest in their sleeper berths. Ignoring this requirement could lead to fatigue and a severe collision. If you have been liable for a truck accident for ignoring this requirement, contact a truck accident lawyer in Torrance for assistance.

Truck Lane Violation

Many states, including California, impose laws that limit the lanes for use by larger trucks. That’s mainly because encounters with trucks and large commercial vehicles are often troublesome for passenger car drivers. Truck drivers can prevent dangerous accidents by using the allocated lanes to promote smooth traffic flow.

Trucks are supposed to stay in the far right lanes to allow smaller cars that want to go faster to use the lanes on the left side. In California, there are restrictions and truck-only lanes on highways. So:

  • Use the designated lane if there is a truck-only lane.
  • Keep to the far right if there’s no designated lane.
  • You can use the second to the right lane if the highway has four or more lanes
  • If you want to overtake another car, use the far right lane or the second to the right-hand lane. Return to the far right lane as soon as you pass, especially on a three-lane highway.

CalTrans Approved Routes Violation

The California Department of Transportation posts signage that truck drivers must follow while driving on California highways and freeways. Sadly, many drivers don’t abide by the signs that direct them from highways or freeways that may be unsafe for large trucks.

Drivers sometimes don’t follow the signage directions, putting themselves and others in danger. Violation of approved routes attracts hefty penalties, but a Torrance truck accident attorney can help you defend yourself.

Violating Truck Length and Load Weight

Trucks that haul trailers should not exceed the maximum recommended length of 53 feet under federal and California law. Trailers that exceed the maximum length often cause accidents by colliding with passenger cars and other vehicles due to insufficient turning clearance.

Weight requirements must also be followed, whether the truck is towing a trailer or not. Under California law, the weight must be at most 80,000 pounds, with each axle holding a maximum of 20,000 pounds.

Trucks that exceed the recommended weight often have difficulty stopping when on a decline because of weight restraints on the brakes. The weight could also crash accident victims to death in a collision.

Logbook Discrepancies

Discrepancies in the logbook are severe offenses, as all commercial truck drivers must maintain accurate records. They also must have the logbook ready for inspection by law enforcers on demand. Log books are evidence of compliance with the hours of service regulations, and maintaining one is crucial lest a driver gets hefty penalties and fines in thousands of dollars.

Aggressive Defense Against Charges for Truck Rules Violations

Getting a ticket for trucking violations can put you at risk of losing your livelihood. No matter the infraction you’re facing, it would be in your best interest to contact a professional attorney well-versed in issues of trucking rules. They can help you decide on the best action to fight the charges.

Our law firm has skilled attorneys who can aggressively represent you to reduce the likelihood of license suspension for violating trucking rules. We will be happy to sit down with you and listen to your side of the story to help you create a strong defense. Contact us to schedule a FREE consultation.