Washington, D.C. Commercial Truck Driver Safety Laws

To ensure the safety of our roads, there are rules and regulations that must be adhered to diligently. For truck drivers in Washington, D.C., it’s critical to comply with these restrictions. Violating them can lead not only to heavy fines but also legal consequences in the event of accidents attributable to such violations.

Truck Regulations In Washington D.C

Some of the most important regulations include:

Width of Truck: This regulation mandates that a large commercial truck cannot be over eight feet wide, except for buses designed to carry more than fifteen passengers, which are allowed an additional six inches. This stipulation ensures that vehicles can navigate lanes and overtaking maneuvers adequately.

Height: A height limit of thirteen feet six inches is enforced across all trucks to avoid damaging low-clearance bridges or other overhead structures such as power lines on the roadways.

Length: Single-unit vehicles have a maximum length restriction of forty feet while semi-trailers and combination vehicles can stretch up to fifty-five feet long. 

Weight: The weight guidelines stipulate that no more than 21,000 pounds can be consolidated on any one axle, and weight on any two axles that are less than 10 feet apart cannot be more than 34,000 pounds. 

Hours of Service Rules: Understanding the truck drivers’ Hours of Service rules is essential to maintaining safety and preventing fatigue-related accidents within the commercial trucking industry. Two of the most important ones include:

  • Eleven Hours Driving Limit: This rule stipulates that a driver may only drive for eleven hours following ten consecutive off-duty hours. The extended period of rest aims to ensure that drivers are well-rested prior to getting on the road, reducing fatigue-induced driving errors.

May drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.”

  • Eight Hour Rule: According to this regulation, truck drivers can only continue driving if no more than eight hours have elapsed since their last break of at least half an hour. This rule forces rest breaks within extended shifts to help maintain attention and avoid fatigue.

Drivers must take a 30-minute break when they have driven for a period of 8 cumulative hours without at least a 30-minute interruption. The break may be satisfied by any non-driving period of 30 consecutive minutes (i.e., on-duty not driving, off-duty, sleeper berth, or any combination of these taken consecutively).”

Regular Inspections and Maintenance: Trucks should undergo regular maintenance checks including tires, brakes, lights, and other main components of the vehicle. Problems detected during inspections should be remedied promptly before they pose hazards on roads.

Commercial Driver Licenses: All drivers must possess a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL) which involves rigorous testing – both written and practical. This aims at verifying professional skill levels required for operating large vehicles safely on highways.

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Contact A Washington D.C. Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you’ve unfortunately been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, it’s important to enlist the help of a skilled lawyer who focuses on motorcycle accidents in Washington D.C. These legal professionals have specific expertise dealing with complex regulations and liability issues commonly associated with such incidents. 

We have the knowledge and resources to help prove liability in your case, which can help you obtain the compensation you’re entitled to after an accident. Don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule a free consultation.