What Are Commercial Vehicles, and Why Are They So Dangerous?

April 14, 2017 | Crandall & Pera Law
What Are Commercial Vehicles, and Why Are They So Dangerous?

Many Ohio and Kentucky truck accidents are caused by commercial vehicles. Commercial vehicles are different than other cars and smaller trucks. Drivers of commercial vehicles must have a commercial driver's license (CDL). Generally, a driver who obtains an Ohio commercial driver's license can drive in Kentucky and every other U.S. state (and vice versa). In order to obtain and keep a commercial driver's license:

  • The driver must complete an approved CDL training course

  • The commercial driver must pass a test that meets federal and state standards

  • The driver must have an approved medical authorization

  • The driver's license must match the particular class of truck he/she is driving

Commercial drivers must meet additional requirements. Violations of these requirements can be useful in proving that the driver and the company that hired the driver were responsible for a truck accident. For example, most drivers who are pulled over for drunk driving will be found guilty if their blood alcohol content was .08. Commercial drivers can be found guilty if their blood alcohol content was just .04.

Commercial drivers must also comply with the federal and state driving laws that regulate how much the truck can weigh, how much rest the driver should get, how the truck cargo should be secured, and other safety factors. These safety rules apply to drivers on federal and state roads, such as Ohio Routes 23 and 33, Interstates 76, 75, and 480; the Western Kentucky Parkway, Kentucky Routes 7 and 9, and all other truck route roads.

Commercial truck classifications

Commercial vehicles are classified based on the following criteria:

  • The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of the truck

  • Whether hazardous materials are being transported

  • How many passengers are being transported

Commercial vehicles include semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, rigs, heavy trucks, vans, buses, tractor-trailers, and other large vehicles. When commercial vehicle accidents occur, the injuries that car passengers and motorcycle riders suffer are often deadly or quite severe. The weight, size, and dimensions of these commercial vehicles are simply no match for smaller automobiles and lighter vehicles.

If you were injured in a truck accident, our Ohio and Kentucky truck accident attorneys are experienced litigators. We understand what is needed to prove fault and all the damages that should be paid. You can reach our Ohio attorneys at 877-686-8879 and our Kentucky lawyers at 877-686-8879. You can also use our contact form to schedule an appointment.