Media has portrayed truckers as urban cowboys, heroes or evil villains. In truth, most truckers are simple law abiding people trying to make an honest living for themselves and their family. Far from the appeal portrayed in the movies and music long-haul trucking is a very dangerous job. Truckers are at risk for robbery, assault and lead the nation with approximately 12 percent of work-related deaths. Accidents involving a semi-truck can be devastating. Victims frequently seek representation from a Utah Truck Accident Lawyer rather than negotiating with insurance companies themselves.

Working under the authority of the U.S. Department of Transportation the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is responsible for regulations pertaining to the trucking industry. These laws and regulations are designed to protect truckers as well as the general public.

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Commercial Driver’s License

All truck drivers are required to have a commercial driver’s license. A Class A license is required to operate vehicles weighing over 10,000 pounds. Applicants must receive training and pass a series of tests.

  • General knowledge
  • Basic skills
  • Combinations vehicle
  • Air brakes
  • Air brakes

Hours of Service

Truck drivers are frequently faced with seemingly impossible deadlines. This can lead to dangerously long hours behind the wheel. In an effort to reduce driver fatigue the FMCSA implemented the Hours of Service regulation.

  • Drivers are limited to a 70-hour work week. This is defined as all “on duty” time including waiting to be loaded or unloaded.
  • Drivers are required to take a minimum 30-minute break during the first 8 hours of their shift. The driver must be released of all responsibility of his truck during a break. This may not apply to drivers carry hazardous materials.
  • There is a mandated 34-hour rest period after 70 logged hours. The 34 hours must include two nights spanning the hours between 1:00 am and 5:00 am.
  • Companies found in violation of Hours of Service are subject to $11,000 per offense. Drivers may face civil penalties as much as $2,750.


Drivers have been expected to maintain a paper driving log since 1938. Unfortunately, the paper trail was easy to falsify allowing drivers to remain behind the wheel for extreme amounts of time. Technology has greatly helped to reduce fraud. Electronic devices can monitor location, movement, miles traveled and engine hours. The FMCSA estimates electronic logging could prevent as many as 26 deaths and 562 injuries annually.


The trucking industry is not immune to unscrupulous companies. Some drivers complain of being ordered not to comply with regulations such as Hours of Service and transportation of hazardous materials. These actions put the driver and the public in danger. According to the Occupational Safety Health Act employers are required to provide a safe work environment for their employees. The FMCSA encourages drivers to report all violations without fear of reprisal.

It is everyone’s responsibility to keep our nation’s roadways safe. Always maintain a safe distance from semi-trucks. They have a much longer stopping distance than automobiles. Allow trucks space when executing turns and be aware of their blind spots. Common sense and respect can save lives. Get Vehicle Leasing for Car Used at AutoVillage


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