Throughout late summer and into early fall, the United States regularly sees a steady increase in U-Haul accidents. This increase typically coincides with students transitioning back onto college campuses. U-Haul accidents can result in serious injuries, death, and property damage. As such, New Hampshire motorists must understand their rights and responsibilities in these types of cases. Injury victims may be able to recover from various parties if they are involved in an accident with a U-Haul driver.
Despite their size and similarity to other trucks, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), does not recognize U-Hauls as commercial trucks. As a result, these trucks are not subject to the various safety rules, regulations, and oversight as other similar trucks. These companies typically invest a significant amount of time and money to ensure that their trucks are distinguished from commercial trucking vehicles. Even though these vehicles are involved in many fatal crashes every year, the major rental truck companies continue to successfully lobby against changing the classification of their vehicles.
Unlike commercial vehicles, the law does not require U-Haul drivers to obtain a commercial drivers’ license (CDL). Rental trucks benefit significantly from this exception, because their customers can easily rent a truck without jumping through various hoops. Further, since the law does not categorize these vehicles like commercial trucks, the companies can avoid thorough and costly inspections. As a result, many of their trucks have a substantial number of miles, and may not be in good working condition.