The regulation of the trucking industry is meant to improve the safety standards across the nation and make our roads safer. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was created to create and regulation these rules. Unfortunately, many trucking companies and their drivers fail to follow these rules and result in devastating wrecks. Victims of these crashes are often left with life altering injuries. Below are some of the regulations that are often violated in the trucking industry.
For interstate travel, large trucks are limited to a combined weight of 80,000 pounds. When these rules are violated, trucks often become too heavy to maneuver. The drivers’ ability to stop in time becomes impaired, leading to a greater risk of an accident occurring. Overloaded trucks also increase the odds of breaking down and causing a wreck. The extra strain on each tire and axle could lead to numerous issues. Next to hours-of-service violations, weight restriction violations are one of the most frequently violated rules. How cargo is loaded is also important. Trailers are essentially large containers on wheels. They have no control or steering by themselves. If the cargo’s center of gravity is too high or is concentrated in one area, it can lead to fishtailing, or jackknifing.
Under FMCSA, trucking companies have a responsibility to ensure they are hiring drivers that are safe, and trained before they are sent on the road. If a driver does not meet the FMCSA’s regulations, they shouldn’t be allowed on the road. Drivers are often required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to ensure he or she is adequately trained. These drivers are also required to report and violations such as license suspensions, or disqualifications.
Drivers must also show they are medically fit to operate a vehicle. Medical examination cards must be kept up-to-date. Conditions such as seizures or sleep apnea can pose fatal risks on the road.
Hours of Service
Truck drivers are limited in the amount of driving they can perform. Hours of service regulations limit how long drivers can go without breaks. Generally, drivers are required to take at least a 30-minute break every eight hours. A 10-hour break is required after 14 hours on duty before they can resume. However, during those 14 hours on duty, including necessary breaks, a driver cannot drive more than 11 hours.
Additionally, only 60 hours can be driven in a seven-day period. This period starts the first time they go on duty. Once a workweek is completed, they must remain off-duty for a minimum of 34 hours. But way all these stipulations on when and how a truck driver can drive? The simple answer is a tired driver is not a safe driver. When these rules are violated, the driver often is unable to stay focused and awake. After driving for long periods of time, several days in a row, mistakes are likely to be made. Unfortunately , the consequences of those mistakes are often catastrophic. What is even more unsettling is that these rules are the most common violations.
Hit by an 18-Wheeler?
At Villarreal and Begum, we know dealing with the aftermath of an 18-wheeler accident can be stressful. That’s why we’re here to help you figure out what to do next. You need an experienced attorney to fight the liable party. Villarreal and Begum know exactly how to find who’s liable, and how to get you the money you deserve. If you have been in this situation, contact us today. Your consultation is always free. Call us or send us a message online. With offices in San Antonio and Austin, the Texas Law Guns will fight for you.