Common Violations of Trucking Regulations
In the year 2000, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations were instituted by our federal government to help manage the United States tractor-trailer industry and to increase the safety of commercial vehicles throughout America. Many truckers and the trucking companies that employ them, however, continue to disregard this set of safety rules in favor of cutting corners and protecting their bottom line. Regrettably, refusing to obey these safety regulations will very probably result in an increase in disastrous and fatal tractor-trailer accidents.
These are the most frequent violations that are committed by truckers and their trucking companies:
Alcohol and Drug Use
Very much the same as people who do not drive tractor-trailers for a living, commercial drivers are absolutely not permitted to operate their rig under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Giving potential new employees a drug test as part of the hiring process and conducting other random drug tests usually discourage this sort of conduct and assure a degree of safety to other drivers on the road. If a trucker failed a drug test, however, and proceeded to remain behind the wheel, then both the trucking company and the driver could be held responsible for any injuries that resulted from a collision.
Hours of Service Violations
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, truckers who remain on the road for more than eight consecutive hours are required to take a half-hour break. If a trucker were to be on the road for 14 hours in a row, then he is required to take a ten-hour break before he can legally begin driving again. Truckers are forbidden from driving for more than 11 total hours in a 14-hour work day. They are also forbidden from driving for more than 60 total hours in seven sequential days or for more than 70 total hours in a consecutive eight-day stretch. Sadly, most of the trucking companies keep forcing their drivers to drive for an unreasonable amount of hours and some even go so far as to falsify records in order to disguise hours of service violations that have occurred. This blatant disregard for the safety practices of the FMCSR oftentimes results in fatigued driving, which several studies have shown is not dissimilar to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and can result in a catastrophic collision.
The FMCSR has included maintenance standards in order to guarantee that every commercial vehicle that is in operation on the road is safe to drive. Drivers are also expected to inspect their tractor-trailers after every single run. If a failed maintenance check or a faulty part was responsible for the truck accident, then either the trucker or the trucking company could be held responsible.
In accordance with federal laws, big trucks are authorized to ride with a combined total weight of an impressive 80,000 pounds. One popular shortcut that many trucking companies use, however, is the addition of more weight than is legally allowed iso that the cargo is able to be transported in a smaller number of trips. Operating a tractor-trailer that weighs too much can make it tough to control and to shift. This increases the likelihood of an accident for the trucker.
Improper Hiring and Training
Ensuring that the drivers they employ have the appropriate instruction and certifications is something that trucking companies are required to do. In the event that the trucking company neglects to correctly verify that a trucker meets all of the federal qualifications and that trucker then causes a collision, both the truck driver and the trucking company will most likely be found at fault.
One of the most important things that a truck accident attorney can do for you is to make sure that your rights are always protected. At the Los Angeles Injury Group, we are here to advocate for you. We won’t let you and your family be taken in by a settlement that only sounds reasonable but is really shortchanging you. If you have been injured in a tractor-trailer accident in the Los Angeles, California area and you would like a free consultation regarding your personal injury case, reach out to us at (310) 954-7248 today.