Car transporters are responsible for moving vehicles on behalf of car dealerships, car manufacturers and vehicle owners. The practice typically involves the transport of several vehicles at once. Although most car transporters perform the task safely and without incident, the work can be dangerous. There are several rules and regulations specifically put in place to protect the safety of the vehicles and the transporters as well as the safety of other travellers.
The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration indicates there are strict rules regarding the hours of service for all commercial truckers including auto transport drivers. The regulation was put into place to restrict the amount of time drivers spend on the road. Studies showed that driver fatigue coupled with long hours on the road contributed to a high percentage of roadway accidents involving commercial vehicles. Hours-of service regulations are designed to ensure that drivers get the appropriate amount of rest to perform their duties to limit the number of driver fatalities due to accidents. Drivers and driver supervisors are required to maintain a log book of hours spent on the road to ensure the regulation is being followed.
According to Truck Rental, car transportation services are required by law to provide at least two types of insurance for vehicle transport. The car carrier must provide liability insurance and cargo insurance. Transporters may offer additional insurance protection as part of their contract with clients, but regulations stipulate the transporter must carry liability insurance in order to move vehicles. Liability insurance provides protection if the transporter is involved in an accident or other mishap that causes personal harm or property damage. Cargo insurance protects the car owner if a vehicle is lost, stolen or damaged during transport.
The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also notes that car transporters face rules regarding vehicle weight restrictions. Depending on the weight restrictions for a particular road, the driver of the transporter may be required to map out an alternate route. Drivers are also required to make routine stops at weigh stations located along various routes to verify the truck is not carrying more weight than it should be.
The transporter vehicle must meet auto transport industry standards for sufficient size and weight to haul vehicles. Only certain trucks are designed to transport cars. The transporter must also have the right safety equipment, such as chains to securely tie down the vehicles.