What Vehicles are Subject to Truck Safety Rules?

There are dozens of types of automobiles on Georgia roads at any given time. Cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs

are all dangerous, but larger commercial vehicles are often even more hazardous. This is due to their utter size and challenges associated with that size. Commercial vehicles are often heavier than passenger vehicles and take up more space on roads and highways. This makes them harder for drivers to manage. Blind spots are much larger on commercial vehicles than on passenger cars and trucks. The processes of changing lanes, turning, or preventing accidents are more difficult in the larger, heavier vehicles as well.

Most Georgia citizens consider commercial vehicles to be tractor trailers and 18 wheelers only. It may surprise you to know that the safety rules presented by both the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and the state of Georgia apply to more than tractor trailers. A commercial vehicle includes any self-powered or towed automobile used in interstate trade for the transportation of property or people when that automobile:

  • weighs 10,001 pounds or more in either gross weight or gross combination weight
  • is used or intended to carry more than seven passengers, in addition to the driver, for payment
  • is used or intended to carry more than 14 passengers, in addition to the driver, not for payment
  • is used to carry material that is considered hazardous by the Secretary of Transportation

This means that not only are tractor trailer drivers and companies responsible for injuries caused by Marietta tractor trailer accidents, but other commercial vehicles and their owners are as well. Buses and vans are considered commercial vehicles and must therefore follow the safety regulations in place by the state of Georgia and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

Act Quickly After a Tractor Trailer Accident

If you or someone you know are injured or killed in a tractor trailer accident, your first thoughts probably will not be which attorney to contact. You should first seek medical attention, even if you are not experiencing serious pain. It's better to be safe than sorry. Once you have taken care of yourself, it is important to contact an experienced tractor trailer attorney right away. 18 wheeler accidents are not as simple as regular auto accidents, as it can be much harder to prove negligence. In the event of a tractor trailer wreck, the company that owns the truck and its insurance company may dispatch a response team to the crash site before the vehicles have even been removed. The company may assign workers to attempt to rid the scene of evidence and attempt to sway the police report. Oftentimes there is electronic data that can be gathered from tractor trailers which can provide reasoning for a crash, but this data is often lost or destroyed soon after a crash. For these reasons, it is important to contact a personal injury attorney to begin investigating the accident as soon as possible.

Need a lawyer for a truck accident case in Marietta? At Jones & Swanson, our own response teams are dispatched as soon as possible after an accident to reconstruct the scene, determine whether the truck company or driver violated any laws, and assess the weather and traffic conditions that may have affected the accident. We rely on more than simply the police report and will work hard to determine what actually happened in an auto accident. Proving negligence is essential if a victim desires financial compensation for medical bills, missed work, or other losses. For more information on your rights after a serious metro-Atlanta auto or trucking accident, contact our office today at (770) 427-5498.