Federal Trucking Regulations
Truck Accident Lawyers Fighting to Keep You Safe
Truck drivers and trucking companies must abide by federal motor carrier
regulations designed to ensure the safety of large trucks and the public.
These cover everything from the number of hours a truck driver may stay
behind the wheel to size.
Truck accidents often have multiple causes—including violations of
federal trucking regulations and NAFTA regulations. When truck drivers
or companies fail to follow safety regulations and accidents occur, they
should be held responsible for their negligence and the damage and injuries
they have caused. That is where our truck accident lawyers come in.
Trucking Regulations: Keeping Our Roads Safe
Federal motor carrier safety regulations (FMCSRs) are intended to keep
our roads free of the catastrophic crashes that can occur when cars and
trucks collide. When truckers fail to follow these regulations, it can
lead to serious tragedies.
Some of the key provisions include the following:
Hours-of-Service: Commercial truck drivers are limited in the daily and weekly number of
hours they may drive a truck. These limits—called hours-of-service
regulations—are designed to keep
exhausted drivers off the highway. Many states have regulations similar to or identical
to the federal regulations. In most cases, a truck driver may drive a
maximum of 11 hours and work no more than 14 hours a day, including driving
and non-driving duties. The driver is then required to have 10 continuous
hours off before they can drive again.
Alcohol & Drugs: Truck drivers are held to stricter standards than other drivers. For
example, if their BAC is 0.04 percent or higher, they are in violation
of DUI laws. Truck drivers are also prohibited from operating a commercial
vehicle within four hours of consuming alcohol and are subject to laws
regarding use of prescription drugs. To protect from drunk truck drivers
on the road, drivers are subject to random testing for alcohol and drug
use by their employer, as well as after accidents in which they may have
contributed to the crash or a fatal accident.
Weight Limits: Federal weight limits apply to large trucks driven on interstate highways.
Generally, trucks on the interstates can have a maximum gross vehicle
weight of 80,000 pounds; however, trucks pulling two or more trailers
in some western states may exceed that. The weight limits are designed
to protect the nation's investment in highways and bridges, but they
also help prevent loss of cargo and keep trucks safer on the road.
Maintenance & Repair: Federal regulations provide minimum inspection standards for commercial
motor carriers. However, too many trucking companies skimp on routine
safety inspection programs and fail to train drivers to recognize signs
of trouble before they cause an accident. An experienced truck accident
attorney will investigate whether the trucking company has established
standards for placing vehicles out of service and whether they have an
adequate record keeping system to document the maintenance and repairs.
The lack of well-documented inspections and maintenance can provide persuasive
evidence of negligence contributing to a serious crash.
Arnold & Itkin represents victims of truck accidents nationwide and
is committed to helping people seriously injured in large truck accidents.
Contact us today if you would like to get counsel.