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Bad Truck Signage

Washington, DC Truck Accident Attorney

It is often easy to see a tractor-trailer truck. They are large and broad and tall, and should have lights all over them. In addition, they should have reflective surfaces. A truck should be marked with identification that can help you know who is responsible for the truck and its actions. This should include the owner of the truck, its operator, and/or the owner of the cargo. All of these individuals are potentially liable for accidents and should be posted clearly on the truck.

Thus, truck signage should perform two functions: making the truck visible and informing you to whom the truck and/or its cargo belong. If you have been injured or lost a loved one as a result of an accident with a truck, the Washington, DC truck accident lawyers at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, & Siegel, P.C. can help you locate all those who contributed to the accident. Please schedule a free consultation and case evaluation today to learn more.

Truck Visibility Standards

The FMCSA maintains strict standards about what the owner or operator of a truck must do to increase the visibility of a truck. The cab must have headlights and clearance lights on the sides. They should have tail lamps, stop lamps, rear reflectors and turn signals. The trailer must be marked with reflectors and/or lights on the tail end. It should have a license plate lamp so you can easily read the license plate. It should have clearance markers on the front and the sides. It should have bumper bar marking, rear lower body marking, side marking, and be colored overall with a retroreflective material. If a truck doesn't have all these lights and reflectors on both the cab and the trailer, it could make the truck difficult to see and cause a truck accident, especially when the truck driver is performing an unsafe maneuver.

Identification Standards

In addition to visibility standards, the FMCSA has designated marking standards for all self-propelled commercial vehicles. These should include:

  • The legal name or a trade name of the operator. This should be the legal name of the carrier as identified by the FMCSA.
  • The operator's motor carrier identification number issued by the FMCSA, preceded by the letters "USDOT."
  • If there is any other name on the vehicle, the operator's name should be distinguished by the words "operated by"

This marking must appear on both sides of the vehicle in sharply contrasting color. They should be readily readable from 50 feet while the vehicle is stationary. The driver is responsible for keeping this sign clear of mud and the carrier is responsible for making sure they stay legible. Vehicles rented for less than 30 days should be marked with the name of the lessor.

Need a truck accident lawyer in Washington, DC?

Failure to meet these conditions may be part of or considered a sign of a general policy of negligence toward Federal regulations. If your personal injury could have prevented by proper truck signage, you may be entitled to money through a personal injury lawsuit. Speak with a Washington, DC personal injury attorney from Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. to learn more about your options with our team. Contact us today!

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