Trucking Regulations Put In Place to Stop Truck Accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is a federal agency tasked with keeping motorists safe from large, commercial trucks all around the country through a series of regulations. When truckers and trucking companies follow the regulations as set forth by the FMCSA, they will help prevent trucking accidents by reducing the likelihood of their causes. Oppositely, ignoring or violating federal trucking regulations will increase the chances of a truck accident that endangers everyone on the road.
What are the key trucking regulations you should know about?
- Speed limits: Commercial trucks are generally not allowed to exceed 55 miles per hour. The limit might be raised on certain stretches of highway, but for the most part, this is the speed limit for any vehicle above a certain weight or of a certain size.
- Weight limits: 80,000 total pounds of a truck – including its cab, trailer, and trailer contents – is typically the absolute weight limit. Going above this limit may cause damage to certain roads or bridges. Exceeding the weight limit will always dramatically increase how much space a commercial truck needs to come to a full stop.
- Hours of service: Commercial truck drivers are not supposed to be scheduled more than 14 hours in one day, which is supposed to include at least 3 hours spent not behind the wheel. They are also prohibited from working more than 60 or 70 hours a week, depending on the hours worked per day. Lastly, at least a 34-hour rest period must follow a trucker’s workweek. Trucking companies tend to violate hour of service regulations the most, looking for loopholes in the system to make truckers work incredibly long hours.
- Maintenance: Large big rigs need far more maintenance than smaller vehicles due to their size and weight. Brake systems are the most likely to wear down unexpectedly fast. Truckers and trucking companies are expected to stay on top of routine maintenance schedules to ensure there is no catastrophic part failure while the vehicle is in motion.
- Alcohol use: Truck operators are breaking the law if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.04 or more. However, they are violating FMCSA regulations if they have any recordable BAC level above 0. FMCSA regulations also mandate truckers cannot keep alcohol in their cabs and must not operate their trucks if they consumed any alcohol within the last 4 hours.
Was Your Accident Caused by a Trucking Violation?
When a trucker or trucking company violates a federal trucking regulation, intentional or not, they may dramatically increase their liability in any resulting truck accidents. If you were hit by a big rig or tractor trailer, let Goeing Goeing & McQuinn PLLC and our Lexington personal injury lawyers know what happened and take over your case. We assign two attorneys to every case we take, which allows us to see each situation from all angles and better pinpoint the cause of your crash.
Get us on your side to pursue compensation today. Contact us online to request a free consultation now.