Standard Safety Regulations for Tractor-Trailers Ignored in California
Back in 2000, the federal government established the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations in order to help oversee the United States tractor-trailer industry and to improve the safety of these commercial shipping vehicles across the country.
Many tractor-trailer drivers and the trucking companies that employ them, however, routinely neglect this system of safety practices in an effort to cut corners and preserve their bottom line. Unfortunately, failing to adhere to these safety ordinances will most likely cause an uptick in the annual number of calamitous and deadly tractor-trailer collisions.
Some of the more frequently disobeyed trucking regulations across the state of California are:
Alcohol and Drug Use
Just like the drivers of non-commercial vehicles, tractor-trailer drivers are certainly not allowed to be behind the wheel of their rig while they are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Administering a mandatory drug test to possible new drivers as a standard part of the hiring process and carrying out additional arbitrary drug tests are generally thought to play big parts in preventing this type of behavior and ensuring some reasonable measure of safety to the other motorists on the road.
If a commercial driver has returned a dirty drug screen, however, and continued to stay employed as an active driver, then the trucking corporation and the truck driver can both be held liable for any injuries or fatalities that result from an accident.
Hours of Service Violations
In that same set of safety regulations, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations states that any drivers who are on the road for longer than eight continuous hours are legally compelled to take at least a 30-minute rest. Should a truck driver be on the road for 14 straight hours, then he would be legally compelled to take a ten-hour rest period before he may get back on the road.
Truck drivers are also prohibited from driving for a time that surpasses 11 overall hours in a 14-hour period. Drivers are also prohibited from being on the road for more than 60 cumulative hours in seven consecutive days or for more than 70 total hours in any eight working day stretch.
Regrettably, the majority of trucking companies pushing their operators to stay on the road for an extreme amount of time and some companies will even take drastic and illegal measures, such falsifying driver’s records, in an attempt to cover up their hours of service violations. This total neglect of the safety rules of the FMCSR all too often causes overly tired truckers to be behind the wheel.
Many research studies have proven that driving while fatigued is very similar to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and could easily end in a disastrous accident.
One of the single most valuable services that a tractor-trailer accident attorney can perform for you is to ensure that someone who is knowledgeable of the law is looking out for your rights. The attorneys here at the Los Angeles Injury Group advocate for all of their clients. We will not let you or your loved one agree to a settlement offer that seems equitable but in actuality is very unfair. If you or a loved one have been injured in a tractor-trailer accident in California and you want to take advantage of our no-obligation consultation concerning your personal injury case, reach out to the Los Angeles Injury Group by calling (310) 954-7248 today.