A Guide to Basic West Virginia Trucking Laws

A Guide to Basic West Virginia Trucking Laws

Tractor-trailers are staples of the American economy and provide a much-needed service to businesses in each state. We depend on these vehicles, but unfortunately, there are some very real risks inherent to tractor-trailers.

The Risks of Tractor-Trailers

The sizes of these vehicles are an obvious concern. A fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds and is several times larger than most other typical passenger vehicles on the road. There are several federal and state laws surrounding trucking to ensure the risks inherent to these vehicles are mitigated as much as possible because of their size, the amount of time they spend on the road, and the frequency they are driven.

Trucking Problems That Lead to Cases:

Preston & Salango has handled a multitude of trucking cases involving serious bodily injury and death. Trucking companies are often at fault by imposing unreasonable expectations on drivers and by failing to properly train their drivers. Further, drivers are often at fault by ingesting drugs or alcohol, speeding, being distracted while driving, etc. Regardless of the cause, our team will thoroughly investigate each case.

Cargo Loading

Tractor-trailers carry large amounts of cargo, and it’s important for trucking companies to balance loads properly. An imbalanced load can cause a tractor-trailer to tip over while making a tight turn. Some types of cargo also require specialized safety mechanisms and security fixtures. Lumber, framing studs, construction equipment, concrete pipe segments, and other large cargo must be stowed safely and in accordance with federal and state laws.

Distracted Driving

When you read a text or talk on the phone while driving, you’re not giving the road and the vehicle your full attention. Even diverting your eyes from the road for just a few seconds can mean your vehicle is travelling hundreds of yards essentially blind – this is a serious hazard, especially if a truck driver were to become distracted and drift into another lane.

Fatigued Driving

Truck drivers often are required to meet tight deadlines for pickups and drop-offs. Unfortunately, some truck drivers push their bodies too far and do not get adequate rest and nutrition on the road. Driving while fatigued is almost as dangerous as driving drunk. A truck driver who falls asleep at the wheel while attempting to meet a deadline can wreak havoc on the other drivers nearby.

Training

Trucking companies have a duty to train every driver they employ in the proper use and care of their vehicles. If a driver causes an accident because of improper training, the trucking company can face liability for the resulting damages or injuries to other drivers. The truck driver also may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the company for failing to provide adequate training or shirking compliance requirements.

Trucking companies also must ensure that all technicians who perform vehicle maintenance follow all necessary procedures and exercise the utmost care when servicing tractor-trailers. These trucks are on the road much more than other vehicles, so wear-and-tear is an important area of concern. If poor or incomplete vehicle maintenance causes a crash, the people responsible for ensuring the maintenance was done correctly will be held liable for the damages.

Pursuing a Lawsuit

If you find yourself in need of an attorney for a trucking accident lawsuit, it’s important to find one with a reliable work history and track record of successes in trucking accident cases. Once you connect with an attorney, he or she will review the details of your case and help you determine who is at fault for your injuries and damages.

It is imperative for an individual to have someone who is skilled and experienced in handling trucking cases. Call Preston & Salango, PLLC today for help.

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