Cincinnati Truck Accident lawyer reviewing Ohio Road Safety Violations and Truck Accident Settlements
The commercial trucking industry in Ohio is subject to state and federal regulations. There are restrictions on driver qualifications, hours of driver service, vehicle inspection and maintenance, load capacity and methods of securement, and other standards to ensure the safety of everyone on the roadways. Commercial truck drivers and trucking companies, however, often fail to comply with such mandates, and place Ohio motorists at risk of accidents and injuries.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets safety standards for commercial truck drivers in hopes of reducing the number of accidents and injuries involving large trucks.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Ohio personal injury attorney, experienced in investigating and settling truck and traffic accident claims nationwide for those injured in an Ohio truck collision.
Federal Driver Qualifications
Trucking companies are responsible for making sure their drivers are qualified and have a decent driving record. Federal standards for driver qualifications require that in order to operate a commercial vehicle, drivers must fulfill the following:
- Aged 21 or older
- Have the ability to speak enough English to converse, read traffic signs, to respond to official inquiries, and make written entries on reports
- Have adequate experience or training to safely operate their commercial vehicle
- Meet basic physical qualifications to operate a truck
- Have a current, valid commercial driver’s license (CDL) issued only by Ohio or another state
- Is able to provide an employer with a driving record or relevant certificates
- Has successfully completed a driver’s road test and been issued a certificate
Ohio Truck Driver Fatigue
The FMCSA limits the hours a truck driver can operate a vehicle in a day or workweek in order to reduce instances of driver fatigue. Truck drivers are required to maintain logbooks, which should contain an accurate record of on-duty driving time for each 24-hour period. The current rules in Ohio are as follows:
- Commercial drivers may not drive more than 11 hours in a given day, or until they have taken a 10-hour break.
- Drivers are limited to 60 hours of service in 7 consecutive days or 70 hours in 8 consecutive days.
- Truckers who reach 70 hours of driving within a week can resume after they rest for 34 consecutive hours.
- Drivers must take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift.
Ohio Road Safety & Trucking Regulations
The state of Ohio sets their own requirements to obtain a commercial driver’s license, and has incorporated almost all of the Federal Motor Carrier regulations into state law. The Ohio Revised Code sets commercial vehicle size and weight limits. The Ohio Public Utilities Commission enforces state and federal safety regulations by conducting roadside inspections.
Truckers and transport companies do not always comply with the law, and as a result, thousands of penalties were assessed and billions were paid in fines. It is not uncommon for truck drivers and their employers to violate state and federal regulations. When someone is injured because a truck driver disregarded safety regulations, they can be held accountable.
Truck drivers and trucking companies must properly inspect, repair, and maintain trucks to ensure their vehicles are in safe working condition. Truck drivers must also keep maintenance records. Trucking companies must adequately train their drivers so that they know how to safely maintain, and inspect their vehicles.
Hazards for Ohio Truckers
There are various elements and factors that contribute to a car or truck accident. Ohio road hazards can be perilous, and it is crucial that drivers take safe actions, especially in poor weather or road conditions. To remain safe on the roads, it requires a well-trained car and truck driver to know how to avoid an accident. However, many times, dangerous roads and highways can be too much of a challenge for drivers and lead to serious accidents and injuries.
A road can be particularly dangerous because of design defects, construction zone hazards, large breaks in pavement, ice and snow and fog, and can be worsened by poor driver behavior. Roads can also be poorly maintained by a municipality, leading to dangerous but preventable conditions. Truck drivers should take caution around the following:
- Low clearances
- Roadways or bridges that cannot handle heavy loads
- Steep inclines
- Steep declines
- Sharp turns
Common Types of Ohio Road Hazards
Every state has roads and highways that require improvements, but some neglect may directly lead to deadly car accidents. In Ohio, drivers and truckers cannot always avoid dangerous roads, intersections, or highways—which may include I-76, I-90, I-71, I-75, and I-85.
Highways and byways surrounding Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, and Akron can be dangerous due to road hazards and road work zones. In fact, I-75 is ranked as one of most dangerous highways in the country, based on the number of traffic-related deaths. Ohio also has the most fatalities on I-75 compared to the other states.
A local municipality or state could be responsible for poor design or dangerous road conditions. For example, the road may have potholes so long they are a significant hazard. The liable party from an accident could be a trucking company, road design company, or construction company, and a claim can be filed on your behalf. If a local or state government is at fault, an Ohio road safety lawsuit is a viable option.
Under Ohio law, the state can be held responsible in some instances for not keeping public roadways in good repair. Truck Drivers are urged to pay attention to the following:
- Roadwork areas
- Steep drop offs
- Very steep roads
- Sharp curves and turns
- Large blind spots along roads
- Poorly lit roads
- Road design defects
- Inadequate signage
- Missing or malfunctioning traffic signal
- Lack of barriers or defective guardrails
- Tire Blowout Debris
- Broken pavement
- Poorly maintained construction zones
If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to a preventable truck accident in Ohio, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer critical questions regarding Ohio road safety.