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Are Trucks Subject To Different Rules Than Cars?

Trucks are different than cars. They are bigger, used more, and harder to control. So the government, and courts, have imposed more extensive rules on them.

While suing companies for truck accidents, I’ve discovered that:
• Wheels of a truck must be “blocked” when the truck is unoccupied, so it can’t roll downhill.
• The emergency brake must be applied – and the motor turned off – when the truck is unoccupied, for the same reason.
• Loads must be secured to keep them from shifting inside the truck. A shifting load can cause the truck to tilt or make the rear fishtail.
• The driver must be protected from shifting loads, possibly by a cab.
• A truckbed can be so wide that the truck can’t be operated to the right of the center line – in obvious violation of the law.
• Trucks are prohibited from using certain roads as through passages.
• Drivers are given “safety classes” by their employers, telling them how to safely address certain situations.
• Many employees have handbooks giving them rules governing operation of company vehicles
• Companies have rules governing operation of company vehicles by intoxicated employees.
• Companies have rules requiring employees to report operation of company vehicles by other intoxicated employees.

And there are other rules requiring truck drivers to be licensed, requiring training of company drivers, requiring maintenance and inspection of the trucks, and stating maximum shift duration (so they don’t get too tired.) There are also different rules about insurance than for cars.

Why are these rules important? Because arguably, violation of more than one of them can make an accident more likely to happen and give your lawyer the basis for requesting a punitive damages instruction.

And that gives the jury much more to think about than the trucking company would like.

I have been a lawyer over 30 years. Nothing works in a truck case like being thorough. If you’ve been hurt by a truck, talk with an experienced Cincinnati Truck Accident Lawyer about the case. Call me, William Strubbe, at 513-621-4775.

Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed.

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