Young & McCarthy LLP

Speeding and careless operation among CMV drivers

Commercial motor vehicle drivers in Ohio, as in any other state, are held to a higher safety standard than noncommercial drivers. The first requirement is for drivers to have a commercial driver's license; trucking companies cannot under any circumstances hire a disqualified CDL driver. Those who exhibit consistently unsafe driving behaviors also cannot be employed.

These unsafe behaviors range from hard braking to speeding and careless operations. Though speed limits vary from state to state, it is a violation of federal law for CMV drivers to drive 15 mph over them. Driving too fast in bad weather is another violation.

One example of careless operation is when a trucker underestimates the time necessary to cross traffic or turn when cars are rapidly approaching. They require more time, of course, because of the wide turns that the truck must make.

Truckers also become careless when backing up. The Commercial Driver's License Manual requires them to "Get Out and Look" (the GOAL rule) before doing so. They must additionally have a spotter to guide them when backing up a truck with a load. As they back up, they must have their four-way flashers on, honk the horn and check the mirrors.

Those injured through a trucker's negligence may be able to hold the trucking company accountable for their injuries, lost wages, mental anguish and other applicable losses. They may want to consult with an attorney who works in truck accident law.

The attorney might hire third-party experts to investigate the crash, gathering evidence like the police report, work log, trucking maintenance records and phone records in the effort to prove the other side's negligence. If the negotiations between the victim's lawyer and the trucking company's legal team do not end in a settlement, the victim might consider taking the case to court.

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