Louisiana is home to 3 of the top 10 U.S. ports and an extensive amount of interstates and highways, so it sees a lot of commercial truck activity. Since these types of trucks are way bigger than the average car, truck, and SUV, regulations must be in place to help ensure everyone’s safety on the road. However, even with rules in place, a truck accident can still unfortunately occur and it can cause catastrophic injuries or even wrongful death.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a Louisiana truck accident, Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys wants to help by making sure you’re informed as much as possible. This blog will review Louisiana trucking regulations, so you can become generally aware of what’s expected of truck drivers.
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Trucking Laws and Regulations: What You Need to Know
First and foremost, drivers in Louisiana must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate a commercial vehicle. It should also be noted that The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires trucking companies to register with them and abide by their regulations, including those involving vehicle maintenance, driver qualifications, and work hours.
On top of that, liability insurance is required and truck companies are required to keep proof of their eligibility at all times in case federal safety inspectors stop by.
Truck Driver Rules and Regulations: Hours of Service Explained
Truck drivers in Louisiana need to follow federal hours-of-service regulations, which restrict the number of hours they can be behind the wheel. Regular training on the safe operation of commercial vehicles and regulations governing the industry is also required.
Through “hours of service” restrictions, the FMCSA is the federal agency that regulates how many hours a truck driver can travel. Currently, the federal hours of service regulations state:
- A driver must have 10 consecutive hours “off duty” before beginning a shift
- After 10 hours “off duty” a driver can only be “on duty” for 14 consecutive hours
- There are 11 hours at a time driving limit
- For every 8 consecutive hours of driving a truck driver must then take a 30-minute break
- There is a 60-hour “on duty” limit over the course of 7 days or no more than 70 hours over 8 days (can reset after 34 consecutive “off duty” hours)
FYI: These regulations apply to trucks and truckers engaging in interstate commerce, if your payload isn’t leaving Louisiana, the rules may be a bit different.
Trucking Company Regulations
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LaDOTD) sets restrictions on the size and weight of commercial vehicles.
The maximum weight for a single axle, for example, is 20,000 pounds, whereas the maximum weight for a tandem axle is 34,000 pounds. There are also height, length, and width restrictions on commercial trucks to prevent them from endangering other cars on the road or infrastructure like bridges and tunnels.
These regulations are in addition to federal regulations set by the FMCSA, which aim to keep commercial vehicles in a safe condition and protect the public from the dangers of commercial vehicle crashes.
Causes of Truck Accidents in Louisiana
Early mornings, late nights, and extended hours are common in the life of a truck driver. But, these demanding work conditions can take a toll on drivers and put other drivers on the road at risk.
The nature of a truck driver’s job puts them at a higher risk of making mistakes, which can lead to devastating accidents. The following factors contribute to truck accidents:
How Can a Louisiana Truck Accident Lawyer from Gordon Mckernan Injury Attorneys Help?
By following these regulations, trucking companies can ensure that they’re operating in a safe and responsible manner, which can help prevent accidents and keep everyone on the road safe. However, accidents can still happen.
Our truck accident attorneys have 679+ years of combined legal experience in Louisiana personal injury law, and we’ve helped our clients win over $2.5 Billion in compensation from the liable parties for their injuries.
Give us a call at 888.501.7888 if you or someone you know has been injured in a truck accident. We recognize that this can be a difficult time for you, so we want to assist you as much as possible in obtaining the compensation you’re entitled to.
Louisiana Truck Accident Injury Lawyer Near Me