Trucking Safety Rules & Regulations
As New Mexico’s industries continue to grow and flourish, our highways are increasingly filled with commercial vehicles. These are essential for transporting goods and services, but the increase in commercial vehicle traffic also means that trucking accidents are on the rise. In fact, each year more than 500,000 commercial vehicle accidents occur nationwide. And because of the size and weight disparity between big rigs and passenger vehicles, these wrecks can be devastating. That’s why commercial truck drivers are subject to additional laws that don’t affect other drivers. The Alamogordo trucking accident attorneys at Carabin Shaw want drivers in Alamogordo, New Mexico to know the basics about the rules and regulations governing truckers—both federal and statewide. Read on to learn more about these laws, and find out how to choose an 18 wheeler accident lawyer in Alamogordo if you’ve been hurt in a crash.Federal Trucking Laws
All truck drivers in the U.S.—including those in New Mexico—have to abide by federal trucking laws set out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA has enacted trucking laws in order to reduce the likelihood of trucking accidents and to make roads safer for all drivers. These federal laws include the following:
- Truck drivers must undergo special training and be properly licensed with a CDL
- Truck drivers need to pass a physical exam every two years
- Truck drivers must not drive for more than 11 hours in a single day
- Truck drivers must not drive more than 70 hours in a single week
- Truck drivers cannot work more than 14 hours per day
- Cargo and heavy loads must be secured according to certain specifications (to prevent cargo from becoming loose or falling off the vehicle)
- Trucks must display certain markings on the outside of the vehicle, including their USDOT number and proper HAZMAT markings (if they are carrying hazardous materials)
- Truck drivers who wish to change jobs must register with the FMCSA’s Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse
When truck drivers do not abide by the aforementioned laws, they can be fined or even charged with a crime. If you were in a wreck with a trucker who was breaking any of these laws at the time of your accident, you should consult with a qualified 18 wheeler accident lawyer in Alamogordo immediately.New Mexico Trucking Safety Rules and Regulations
New Mexico trucking laws include the following restrictions:
- All drivers who wish to operate commercial trucks must first obtain a commercial driver’s license
- The minimum age to drive a truck in New Mexico is 18, but transporting hazardous materials requires drivers to be at least 21 years of age
- New Mexico imposes a weight-distance tax on owners and operators of commercial vehicles whose gross weight exceeds 26,000 pounds; such vehicles are issued special license plates
- Operating trucks exceeding 80,000 pounds requires drivers to have a special permit
- Commercial vehicles in New Mexico must be registered with the state
- All commercial vehicles must enter, leave, and travel through New Mexico on designated highways and must also stop at every operating point of entry for manifesting and clearance stickers
If you’ve been in a wreck with a commercial vehicle and want to find out whether the driver violated trucking safety rules and regulations, an Alamogordo trucking accident attorney can help.
When choosing a lawyer, you should look for someone who specializes in commercial trucking accidents, since these wrecks require in-depth knowledge of both state and federal trucking laws. Fortunately, the New Mexico injury attorneys at Carabin Shaw are trucking accident experts, with a combined 200 years of legal experience.
To find out what the right attorney can do for you, call our Carabin Shaw offices serving Alamogordo, New Mexico today at 915-779-2301. We offer all new clients a no cost, no obligation consultation with an attorney, so you have nothing to lose by speaking with an 18 wheeler accident lawyer in Alamogordo today. Don’t wait—let one of our talented New Mexico injury attorneys help you get your life back on track.