Every state has commercial trucking laws to protect other motorists on the road. In Arizona, truckers must follow several state and federal regulations pertaining to the amount of time they can spend behind the wheel, the maximum weight they can haul, the maximum size of the truck, and more. If you are injured in a semi truck accident, our Mesa personal injury accident attorneys thoroughly investigate the incident to determine whether any laws were violated and where to place liability so we can fight for the compensation you deserve. Arizona trucking laws and federal trucking regulations are difficult to navigate. This is why you need an experienced truck accident lawyer at your side to investigate failures to follow the most basic transportation laws, including the following.
Hours of Service Rule
Under federal law, a truck driver can only operate their vehicle for a maximum of 11 continuous hours in a 14-hour work day. Then they must rest for 10 continuous hours before getting behind the wheel. The operator may not drive after 60 hours on duty in seven consecutive days, or after 70 hours on duty in eight consecutive days. They may restart the seven or eight day period only after taking 34 or more hours off duty. Other rules apply to short-haul drivers or trucks that have two drivers and a sleeper cab.
These laws are designed to prevent truck driver fatigue. Most commercial truck drivers are paid by the mile, incentivizing drivers to go as far as they possibly can each day. However, some drivers stay behind the wheel far longer than is safe. Combine driver fatigue with employer-mandated quotas and you can see how an accident can occur. Drivers must follow the hours of service rules set by the federal government. If you were injured in an accident where these regulations were violated, your case will be tried in a federal court rather than a state court. Both the driver and their employer can potentially be held negligent depending on the conditions of the accident and the details evidenced in the driver’s log book.
Weight and Size Regulations
Arizona legal trucking loads are as follows:
- Length: 65 feet
- Width: 8 feet, 6 inches
- Height: 14 feet
- Weight: 80,000 pounds
Oversize shipping and Heavy Loads require a permit from the Arizona Department of Transportation, though they still must meet these restrictions:
- Length: 120 feet
- Width: 14 feet
- Height: 16 feet
- Weight: 250,000 pounds
Quality Control of the Vehicle
Commercial vehicles are regulated by state and federal governments as pertains to their manufacturing and repairs to ensure a high level of quality control. If your truck accident was the result of a defective part or equipment failure due to improper maintenance, you may have a claim against the manufacturer, supplier or maintenance facility of the truck under product liability laws.
If a truck driver is involved in an accident and is found to be lacking the proper license, both the owner and operator may be liable.
There are several regulations in place governing the transport of hazardous materials. If you are in an accident with a truck hauling fuel, chemicals or other HAZMAT, and the driver did not follow those regulations, you will need to hire a personal injury accident attorney to discuss filing a claim against all liable parties.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident in Arizona, please call the Phoenix and Mesa personal injury attorneys at Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience, PLC for a free consultation. We will fight for compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and any other special damages.