Trucking Accidents often the Result of Federal Trucking Regulation Violations
By Sandra Dalton, Staff Writer
Many federal trucking regulations, such as those maintained by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), were created to minimize the likelihood of trucking accidents. With thorough investigation, it is often possible to uncover violations of these regulations as the cause or contributing factor in a trucking accident. Because evidence of violations is often buried deep in trucking company records, and records are sometimes falsified, it requires the skills of a highly experienced trucking accident attorney to properly investigate and prove fault in trucking accident cases.
Texting and Making Phone Calls
The FMCSA prohibits truck drivers from reading, composing, or sending text messages while driving. It also prohibits talking on cell phones while driving unless the call is hands-free and dialing only requires pushing one button. According to the FMCSA, research shows that commercial drivers who dial on a cell phone are six times more likely to be involved in a safety-critical event, such as a crash or veering out of lane.
Truck drivers can be fined up to $2,750 for hand-held device use and their employers can be fined up to $11,000 for requiring or allowing it. Multiple violations can result in driver disqualification.
Truck drivers are required to perform a pre-trip inspection of their trucks before hitting the road. The inspection is in-depth and can take nearly an hour. The purpose is to make sure the truck is in good running condition and that all safety features are operating properly. Examples of the items to be checked during inspection include:
- Brake system
- All lights
- Fluid levels
- Lug nuts
- Safety equipment
- Coupling device
Hiring and Monitoring Drivers
Trucking companies must meet strict requirements for hiring and monitoring their drivers. This includes looking at the last three years of driving and employment records. All drivers must pass a physical before beginning a truck driving job, and again every two years. Employers must conduct random drug tests on their drivers and review each truck driver’s driving records annually.
What it Means to You
If you have been injured in a trucking accident, proving that a violation of federal trucking regulations caused or contributed to your accident can be the key to recovering the compensation that you need and deserve.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a truck accident, you can learn more about your rights and how you can recover damages for your losses by searching our directory to find a lawyer near you.