When it comes to commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), some Missouri and Illinois residents might mistakenly assume that only truck accidents with large tractor-trailers would fall under the federal safety regulations that truck drivers and their employers must follow. For instance, many people believe that what matters is whether or not a commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required. The key to this issue, however, is understanding the fact that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) which govern CMV safety actually recognize two separate levels of CMVs. A serious collision involving a pickup or other small truck which is being driven commercially may still qualify under these guidelines and provide an injured victim the chance to consult with a St. Louis trucking accident personal injury attorney to find out if they have a viable case.
Commercial Motor Vehicle Classes
The two separate CMV classes are the large tractor-trailers which weigh in at 26,000 or more pounds and the smaller vehicles which weigh under that level but above 10,001 pounds. While only drivers of the tractor-trailer class weighing above 26,000 pounds are required to obtain a CDL for operation, a good portion of trucking safety guidelines still apply to the smaller class as well.
One extremely important factor to look at is that it isn’t just the truck weight that can factor into the formula determining whether a vehicle qualifies as a CMV for interstate commerce purposes. What must actually be determined is the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of both the vehicle and whatever trailer it might be hauling. For instance, if the small truck plus the trailer that it uses to haul equipment to provide services or goods for delivering weighs in at above 10,0001 pounds, then it is viewed as a CMV for purposes of trucking regulations.
This means that it isn’t just large delivery trucks, utility trucks, and wreckers that could count as commercial vehicles; smaller pickup trucks or even large passenger cars that regularly haul a heavy enough trailer could also fall into this arena. This would open up avenues for injured victims to pursue restitution if they or any loves ones are seriously injured due to a truck driver’s apparent negligence or failure to follow the appropriate trucking safety regulations. Thus, if you have been injured in a car accident with a pickup truck, you should seriously consider contacting a personal injury attorney in St. Louis.
CMV Safety Regulations Businesses Must Follow
Some of the safety regulations that businesses which utilize CMVs are required to follow is to register with their state and/or federal trucking authorities that track driver and truck safety. These companies have to state under penalty of perjury that they not only have knowledge of the safety laws they are required to follow, but that they also have someone in charge of compliance with these laws, that they train their drivers on the appropriate safety regulations, that they properly monitor their driver qualification requirements, that they obey DOT regulations revolving around both driver safety and vehicle maintenance, and that they comply with the laws centering on alcohol and controlled substance testing.
Commercial drivers must be “qualified” before such businesses can employ them for commercial driving. These drivers have to be above the age of 21, able to both speak and read English, display adequate CMV driving skills, and also have a certain level of physical and medical fitness for driving. In addition, employers have to check both the backgrounds and characters of their potential drivers, not to mention require these drivers to complete an extensive application for employment and allow potential employers access to their traffic violation records. Qualification for commercial driving is not just a one-time process, either; drivers must be requalified on an annual basis.
These rules apply to both levels of CMV drivers. One big difference between the classes is that drivers required to have a CDL must provide at least 10 years of employment history during any background checking requirements while non-CDL drivers must only provide three years of such history. Another difference is that drivers not required to have a CDL do not fall under the pre-employment, random, and post-collision alcohol and drug testing rules.
Have you or a loved one been injured in a pickup truck crash or trucking accident?
Whatever the class of a commercial vehicle, however, if a motor vehicle accident caused by a negligent trucker has injured innocent victims, they deserve to seek financial reimbursement for the losses they have sustained. It is important to preserve evidence of such negligence as soon as possible, especially considering that most employers are only required to maintain detailed time records and driver logs for six months.
In order to give your case the best chance possible, you may wish to dial 1-888-586-7041 at your earliest convenience to determine whether my St. Louis trucking accident law firm might be able to assist with your case. I have been a trial attorney for over two decades and I am experienced in investigating and trying trucking cases. You will owe me nothing unless you decide to hire me, and even then you will only pay any fees in the event that I obtain financial restitution for you either by settling your case with the defendant or succeeding at trial. Please contact my St. Louis personal injury law firm as soon as possible to find out whether I can help you obtain the justice you and your loved ones deserve.
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