South Carolina Trucking Regulations
Trucks are an essential component of the US economy, but they can also be dangerous if they’re not properly regulated. Every year, thousands of people are injured in truck-related accidents caused by fatigued drivers, overloaded vehicles, and improperly labeled hazardous materials. Keep reading to learn about the trucking regulations in South Carolina and the dangers posed by unregulated trucking companies.
State and Federal Trucking Regulations
Most trucking regulations are set at the federal level by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These regulations cover a wide range of issues, such as driver qualifications, vehicle maintenance, and hours of service.
These regulations typically apply to all commercial trucking companies and drivers operating within the United States, regardless of the state in which they are based or traveling through.
Some of the most common trucking regulations that South Carolina truck drivers must follow include the following:
Weight Limits & Logging Devices
Trucks may not exceed 20,000 pounds on non-interstate roads unless certain exceptions apply. An electronic logging device (ELD) is also necessary to show drive hours when operating trucks within the state.
Hours of Service
Under federal regulations, truck drivers are limited in their hours of service. Here’s a summary of current rules regarding how long a truck driver can legally drive and when they need to take breaks:
- Drivers are limited to 11 hours of driving time after they’ve had a break of 10 consecutive hours.
- After 8 hours of being on duty, truck drivers must take a break for at least 30 minutes.
- Truck drivers working daily are subject to a limit of 70 hours on duty within eight days.
- Drivers not working daily have a weekly limit of 60 hours on duty over any seven-day period.
- The clock resets after a driver has been off duty for 34 hours.
What Are The Most Common Trucking Violations?
The most common violations include driving for an extended period of time without taking a break or rest period. Fatigued drivers pose a huge danger to other motorists on the road as these drivers are more prone to making mistakes due to their lack of alertness and concentration.
Overloaded vehicles also pose dangers as they can cause accidents due to their extra weight and slow deceleration.
Respondeat Superior in Trucking Accidents
Respondeat superior means “let the master answer.” In the legal world, it is a doctrine that holds an employer liable for the actions of its employees. This doctrine is often applied in cases involving negligence. For example, if a truck driver causes an accident because they were speeding, the trucking company could be held responsible under the doctrine of respondeat superior.
When an accident occurs, the trucking company will often try to distance itself from its driver by claiming that the driver was acting independently and not on behalf of the company. However, if it can be shown that the driver was working at the time of the accident, the doctrine of respondeat superior will likely apply, and the company will be held liable for any damages caused by its employee.
If you need help with a truck accident claim, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.