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Commercial Driver Safety On The Road: Understanding The Legalities And Regulations

Commercial Driver Safety On The Road: Understanding The Legalities And Regulations

Is it enough for your company’s drivers to follow the rules of the road? Many countries spend at least 3% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on nationwide road traffic accidents, according to the World Health Organization. Thus, it is important to ensure that drivers are operating company vehicles safely and lawfully, enabling benefits like avoiding e-commerce delivery issues. This includes matters such as legal requirements and safety laws.

Are Commercial Trucks Linked To Higher Accident Rates?   

Every year, the number of truck accidents remains quite high. For example, an estimated 415,000 police-reported road accidents in the United States involved large trucks since 2015. Approximately 82% of the accidents resulted in property damage, with nearly 21% resulting in physical injuries. In fact, the average accident cost is significantly higher than in accidents involving two non-commercial vehicles.

Roadside accidents involving commercial vehicles are generally more severe than those involving non-commercial vehicles. This is due to capacity factors, such as the large size and capacity of commercial vehicles. Another important factor is the average weight of fully-loaded semi-trucks as the higher weight also creates a larger force if the truck hits another vehicle.

Commercial Drivers’ Legalities Means A Serious Business

If your company has commercial drivers, it is important to be aware of all legal requirements when operating vehicles. These laws differ for various countries and regions. The general requirements involve special training, commercial driver’s license, insurance, and drug tests. A company employing commercial drivers must also keep their employee documents on hand at all times. Such files include information related to all local, regional, and national requirements for commercial drivers. This includes a valid commercial driver’s license that indicates the person meets all requirements for operating a commercial vehicle.

Companies must fully understand that different license classes are based on multiple factors including a truck’s maximum weight or cargo type such as hazardous waste. It is also important for all companies to provide the legal amount of insurance required for the driver, truck, and cargo. Generally, such insurance offers significantly more coverage than non-commercial vehicles. This includes business functions such as ride-sharing, food delivery, and long-haul trucking.

Understanding Local Laws and Regulations  

Commercial drivers must be aware of all road rules and regulations that apply to them. One of the most important ones involves the hours of service (HOS) that a driver logs during consecutive days. For example, drivers might be prohibited from driving over 60 hours per week. Commercial drivers are also required to follow various sets of rules based on laws related to transportation, labor, and health. Another factor is whether the drivers’ vehicles are carrying consumer goods or passengers, as this could affect the HOS allowed over consecutive days.

Whether your company uses trucks for delivering products or transporting goods to ship across the globe, it is important for professional drivers to meet all legal requirements and follow all safety laws. Taking these steps will not only help to protect your drivers, vehicles, and cargo; but the entire company as a whole.

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