What Rules Do Ohio Truck Drivers Need to Follow?

Driving a truck is no easy task. With the weight of the vehicle, the goods being transported, and the responsibility of ensuring road safety, truck drivers in Ohio carry a lot of responsibilities. As such, the state has established a plethora of rules that they must follow.

These laws are in place to protect everyone on the road—from the driver of the largest commercial truck to pedestrians crossing the street. When traffic safety laws are violated, a collision can occur. In such a case, a Cincinnati truck accident lawyer may be able to fight for justice on your behalf.

Size and Weight Limits

Ohio, like many states, recognizes the potential risks associated with large trucks. As such, there are strict regulations governing the size and weight of these vehicles. Trucks operating within Ohio are limited to 20,000 pounds on a single axle and cannot exceed 80,000 pounds on a long quad-axle. The Ohio State Highway Patrol diligently monitors these regulations and uses weigh stations to ensure that trucks do not surpass these limits.

While these weight limits might seem stringent, they serve a crucial purpose. Overloaded trucks not only pose a risk to public infrastructure but also significantly amplify the dangers associated with road accidents. A heavy, overloaded semi-truck has a longer stopping distance and is more challenging to control, which can increase the risk of an accident.

Commercial Driver’s License Requirements

Driving a truck is a very different experience from driving a car and requires a special set of skills. Recognizing this, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles requires that all truck drivers possess a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). To obtain a CDL, drivers must pass the following tests:

  • Knowledge and Skills Tests: The tests assess the driver’s understanding of the rules of the road, safety practices, and the specific skills needed to operate a large vehicle. For those aiming to transport specific goods, like hazardous materials, there are additional endorsements that demand more in-depth testing.
  • Medical Testing: Truck drivers must meet certain physical qualifications, which ascertain they’re fit to handle the rigors of the job. Some drivers might require specific medical tests under Ohio Revised Code Section 4506.10, depending on their medical conditions.
  • Vision Testing: Clear vision is vital when you’re responsible for such a large vehicle. All prospective truck drivers need to pass a strict vision test, which ensures that they can perceive depth, distance, and details, crucial for safe driving on the highway.

Employer Liability for Accidents

When truck accidents happen, the repercussions can be significant. If an Ohio driver, while on duty, is found responsible for a collision, he or she may face a lawsuit or insurance claim filed by the victim. The purpose of these claims is to reimburse the victim for any damages that he or she suffered as a result of the accident.

If the driver is an employee of a trucking company, his or her employer may be vicariously liable. This means the victim might have the legal grounds to seek compensation from the driver’s employer as well, depending on the driver’s status at the time of the collision.

Employer Liability for Accidents

If you are injured by a truck driver, you might find yourself filing a Cincinnati personal injury lawsuit against a large corporation instead of a single person. This can be a challenging process alone—which is why you need an attorney on your side.

A lawyer can provide critical guidance during this time, advocating for your right to fair compensation. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case and take your first steps toward justice.