Essential Laws Every Trucker Needs to Know
Driving a truck can be a great job. You choose your own schedule; you can get paid well and you become your own boss. But before you begin making the tough decisions of what trucking job to apply for, make sure you check out the list of trucking regulations and laws every truck driver should know before getting behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler. Don’t let your big dreams lead to big fines and a big-ticket.
Headlight & Windshield Wipers Law
Many states have a specific law that requires all drivers to have their headlights turned on any time that they have their windshield wipers on. This is usually so that other drivers can easily spot your vehicle as it travels down the road. It also helps prevent accidents by helping those behind see better when visibility is low—and this includes not just cars but also larger trucks like yours!
Distracted Driving Law
The laws regarding cell phone usage in trucks vary from state to state, so it’s important to know the rules for where you’re driving. In general, you can have phones and MP3 players in the vehicle, and you can use a hands-free phone device in most states (some, like Wisconsin, don’t allow phone usage at all unless it’s to report an emergency). Just be sure that your device is mounted somewhere that won’t obstruct your view.
When you’re driving an 18-wheeler, it’s not just the speed limit that matters. In some states, a trucker can be ticketed for going too slow. Even though you’re hauling a heavy load, you’ll still have to pull over and let traffic pass if you’re in the left lane and moving slower than the flow of traffic. That said, if you’re on a road with a posted minimum speed limit, pay attention to it—it’s there for a reason. For example, on many highways, the minimum speed is 45 mph.
Move Over Law
This law applies on most public roads with two or more lanes going in the same direction. It means that when you see an emergency vehicle pulled onto the shoulder with its lights on, you must make every effort to move over into an open adjacent lane when passing. If you can’t change lanes safely (i.e., if it’s rush hour or there is no other lane), then you must slow down by at least 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit. This law also applies when approaching a stationary vehicle with its hazard lights on, including tow trucks and construction vehicles.
The Warrior Way
No matter where your trucking journey takes you, it’s important that you understand the laws and regulations of the states you’ll be traveling through. For more commercial truck driving tips and training resources, contact Warrior Logistics today.