Federal Trucking Regulations
Proving Negligence in Fort Worth Truck Accident Cases
Truck drivers carry a lot of responsibility on their shoulders, not only for the cargo they are transporting but also for the motorists on the road around them. Commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds loaded to capacity, which can cause an excessive amount of damage in a truck accident. Because of these dangers, truck drivers must follow strict federal laws in order to keep themselves and others safe on the road.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
FMCSA is the government agency that presides over commercial motor vehicle safety through regulation, education, enforcement, research, and technology. This means that commercial trucking companies and truck drivers must follow the regulations set down by FMCSA in order to continue operating. Federal trucking regulations include everything from commercial driver’s license requirements to training and vehicle maintenance. Common violations of the FMCSA regulations are outlined below. If you have been hurt in a truck accident, then speak with an attorney today!
Hours of Service
According to the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49 §395.3, drivers must comply strict on-duty periods and rest breaks. To summarize, a driver may only drive 14 consecutive hours, but can only do so after 10 consecutive hours off duty. During that 14-hour driving shift, drivers may only drive a total of 11 hours (the remaining time must be spent resting).
Drivers must take a break if more than 8 hours has passed since the end of their last off-duty period or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes. Truck drivers who violate these hours-of-service regulations can become fatigued, which studies show to be just as dangerous as driving under the influence. If you were hit by a tired truck driver, then a lawyer can help you get compensation.
There are a number of different regulations regarding how to properly load a truck, how much it can weigh depending on the type of truck and the number of axles it has, how to properly tie down cargo, and how to properly load and transport oversized cargo. Violation of these regulations can lead to spilled cargo, brake failure, runaway trucks, and a number of other accidents.
Failure to Maintain
FMCSA also regulates how commercial trucks should be regularly inspected and maintained. Without proper inspections and maintenance, dangerous problems could be overlooked or ignored, which can then lead to a breakdown, blowout, or other mechanical failure that causes a truck accident.
Inadequate Truck Driver Training
It goes without saying that commercial truck drivers should know how to do their jobs. Trucking companies can be held liable for a truck accident if it can be proven that the truck driver did not receive proper education and training before stepping behind the wheel. Similarly, the truck driver can be held liable if it can be proven that he or she was driving without a valid commercial driver’s license and or other required training.
Contact a Lawyer in Fort Worth
Act quickly if you have been in a truck accident by calling the Law Office of James M. Stanley. Our personal injury firm has served the Fort Worth area since 1976. Contact us today to receive a free case evaluation and find out what legal options are available to you!