Safety Tips and Traffic Rules That Every Truck Driver Should Know

  • The mandate went to effect as from 2017 December and requires that all truckers switch to electronic logging device (ELD) mandate from Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRDs).
  • Passenger transportation CMV drivers are required to generate the daily reports even when no underlying problem is detected.
  • Apart from when contacting emergency or law enforcement agencies, no driver is allowed to use mobile devices to make calls or messaging while driving.

Driving a truck for a living can be dangerous and tedious. Truck drivers have to traverse long distances ferrying goods for the better part of their job. With all the different situations that can come into play during driving, safe driving is easier said than done. Professional driving requires a lot of common sense and a great deal of skill. Apart from being conscious of their safety, truck drivers have the responsibility for the safety of other road users. Commercial truck operators and drivers have a unique set of rules and compliance requirements. These regulations may dramatically differ from those of a car. Below is a compilation of important laws that should be understood by every truck driver.

Twenty-six states are expected to update their minimum wage rates, effective from January 1st, 2020.

Minimum Wage

There is a minimum wage that every truck driver is entitled to, depending on the state they live in. Twenty-six states are expected to update their minimum wage rates, effective from January 1st, 2020. Truck drivers should follow up with their employers to determine whether the minimum wage of their state has been increased. It is necessary to understand that minimum wage does not vary according to the state you drive through.

Mandatory DOT Drug Test

When screening new employees, commercial truck operators are now required to access alcohol and drug violation records from the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. Other agencies that will be able to access the records are the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), State Driver Licensing, and CMV employees. The records will include all instances of reporting to work and driving while drunk. To this effect, truck drivers should know that future pursuits of employment will be negatively impacted by drug or alcohol violations.

Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate

The mandate went to effect as from 2017 December and requires that all truckers switch to electronic logging device (ELD) mandate from Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRDs).

Insurance Rules

Unlike other cars, commercial motor vehicle operators are required to adhere to an enhanced set of insurance rules. They have to meet special liability insurance compliances. A minimum of $5000000 in liability insurance coverage is required to be maintained by any CMV transporting hazardous substances. For commercial vehicles exceeding a weight of 1000 pounds, minimum coverage of $750,000 is expected.

Daily Inspection Reports

A minimum of $5000000 in liability insurance coverage is required to be maintained by any CMV transporting hazardous substances. For commercial vehicles exceeding a weight of 1000 pounds, minimum coverage of $750,000 is expected.

CMV drivers must document any safety risks in a daily inspection report. The report should include any instances or flaws that may but their ability to drive their trucks in jeopardy safely. Passenger transportation CMV drivers are required to generate the daily reports even when no underlying problem is detected. After inspecting all crucial systems like the braking, steering, horn, and lighting, truck drivers should document and retain the reports for a minimum period of three months.

Restriction on Use of Handheld Mobile Devices

Apart from when contacting emergency or law enforcement agencies, no driver is allowed to use mobile devices to make calls or messaging while driving. Drivers must move and park their trucks on the roadside if they wish to use any handheld device. CMV operators are also not allowed to use or even possess radar detection devices while in operation.

Other drivers can also use some tips from truck drivers to help in driving safely.

  • Always keep a distance from other vehicles on the road.
  • Avoid distractions and always focus on the road.
  • Sleepy drivers are known to have a slower reaction time. Any driver must ensure they get enough rest and sleep before setting off to the road.
  • Give other vehicles enough extra room on the road. As many drivers know, blind spots can quickly get you into trouble.
  • Always let the other drivers know what you are about to do by signaling. Braking earlier can also go a long way in keeping everyone out of danger.

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Austin W

My name is Austin, a public relations specialist. I graduated with a degree in Business and Marketing from the University of Memphis.

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