Tennessee Truck Accident Laws and Requirements

When filing a claim for compensation after a truck accident, the most important piece of evidence when establishing negligence on behalf of the truck driver, company, or owner is proving that laws or regulations were violated. In Tennessee, there are many laws and regulations governing the trucking industry—and it’s not uncommon for one or more to be violated which also directly lead to accidents occurring.

As Jackson truck accident lawyers, the legal team at Matt Hardin Law is dedicated to identifying these violations and holding the negligent party responsible for the victim’s accident-related expenses. Read our list of major Tennessee truck accident laws and requirements below to gain a better understanding of what may have led to your truck accident, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Just dial fill out a free online form.

Important Laws and Regulations in the Trucking Industry

In Tennessee, truck drivers, owners, operators, and companies are subject to the following rules and regulations:

Annual safety inspections

All vehicles that weigh more than 10,001 pounds must be inspected on a yearly basis for safety. These inspections must be done by certified mechanics and include checking things like the brake systems, coupling device, fuel systems, lights, steering, suspension, frame, tires, wheels, windshields, and wipers. Trucks that pass these inspections must display a sticker and truck drivers must include a copy of the inspection report with them at all times.

Truck driver documents

Any time they head out on Tennessee’s roadways, truck drivers are required to have the following documents on hand:

  • Valid driver license (CDL if driving a vehicle weighing more than 26,001 pounds or carrying hazardous materials)
  • Health card certifying they met physical requirements to drive a truck
  • Vehicle inspection report
  • Logs for the past 7 days
  • Log for the current day
  • Manifest or shipping papers for hazardous materials

Truck drivers who don’t carry these items with them at all times can be fined.

Trailer brake requirements

Trailers that weigh more than 3,000 pounds and that are haul on public highways in Tennessee must include brakes on all axles as well as a breakaway device that will apply the brakes in the event of an accidental breakaway. Trailers between 1,500 and 3,000 pounds must include brakes on at least one axle.

Logbook requirements

Truck drivers must maintain their log book for every day that they are behind the wheel to document their driving and rest periods. Drivers aren’t permitted to operate their trucks after working more than 60 hours in a seven-day period or working 70 hours in an 8-day period.

Tie-down procedures for hauling materials in open truck beds

Goods or materials hauled in open bed trucks must remain at least four inches below the sides of the truck as measured at each side of the bed. In addition, any vehicles hauling loose materials are required to haul the material in an enclosed container or fully cover it with a tarp to prevent it from spilling out of the vehicle.

Width and height requirements

No trucks are allowed on Tennessee roadways that measure more than 8’6” in width and 13’6” in height. However, certain farm vehicles are exempt from this regulation provided they use highways temporarily for work-related purposes.

As these regulations show, the trucking industry is complicated and proving negligence in a truck accident requires extensive knowledge of the law. At Matt Hardin Law, our Jackson truck accident attorneys know the ins-and-outs of the trucking industry, and we stay up to date on how Tennessee truck accident laws change on a year-to-year basis.

Trust our experience after your truck accident. Give us a call, and let us build a claim that will get you the results you need.

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