Ohio Road Safety Violations and Tuck Accident Litigation

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.

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

Hours of Service & 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.

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.