Trucking is a critical component of the U.S. economy, with millions of trucks traveling millions of miles every day to deliver goods across the country. Given the sheer volume of trucks on the road, regulations must be in place to ensure the safety of truck drivers as well as other road users. When truckers and trucking companies violate these regulations, they must be forced to pay dearly.
The truck accident attorneys with The Trucking Lawyers would like to share some information on the federal trucking laws and regulations designed to keep truckers and everyone else on the highways safe. This information includes licensing laws, training regulations, hours of service regulations, laws involving drug and alcohol usage and testing, load and weight requirements, and truck maintenance laws.
You can turn to our law firm if you’re involved in an accident with a truck that occurs due to a violation of federal regulations. If you would like to schedule a free evaluation of your case, please contact us online or call (800) 732-3070.
Commercial driver’s license (CDL) requirements are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA sets minimum age and health requirements, as well as knowledge and skills testing requirements for CDL applicants. Different CDL classes are established based on the type of vehicle being driven and the type of cargo being transported.
For instance, a driver who operates a vehicle that weighs over 26,000 pounds and transports hazardous materials will require a Class A CDL with a hazardous materials endorsement. Additionally, CDL drivers must pass regular medical exams to ensure that they are physically capable of operating a commercial vehicle safely.
In addition to obtaining a CDL, drivers must complete specific training programs. The FMCSA has established minimum training requirements for entry-level drivers, which include both classroom and behind-the-wheel training. The training must cover various topics, including driving techniques, cargo handling, and vehicle inspection.
Furthermore, the training should incorporate real-world scenarios that drivers may encounter on the job, such as navigating through inclement weather or avoiding collisions with other vehicles. These regulations aim to ensure that trucking companies adequately train new drivers to operate a commercial vehicle safely.
Hours of Service Regulations
Fatigue is a significant contributing factor in trucking accidents. To prevent driver fatigue and reduce the risk of accidents, the FMCSA has established regulations governing the number of hours drivers can work. These regulations limit the number of hours that drivers can spend driving and require them to take regular breaks. For example, drivers must take a 30-minute break after eight hours of driving, and they can’t drive for more than 11 hours in a 14-hour workday.
Federal law also requires drivers to take at least 10 hours off duty between shifts. These regulations are designed to ensure that drivers are well-rested and alert while on the road, reducing the risk of accidents caused by driver fatigue.
Laws Involving Drug and Alcohol Usage and Testing
Drug and alcohol use by truck drivers can have catastrophic consequences. To address this issue, the FMCSA has established regulations governing drug and alcohol usage and testing. These regulations require trucking companies to have drug and alcohol testing programs in place, and drivers who test positive for drugs or alcohol are prohibited from operating a commercial vehicle.
Drivers must also submit to random drug and alcohol testing. This testing ensures that drivers are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol while operating a commercial vehicle, reducing the risk of accidents caused by impaired driving.
Load and Weight Requirements
Trucks must comply with specific load and weight requirements to ensure the safety of the driver and other road users. The FMCSA has established regulations governing the maximum weight a truck can carry and the proper way to secure cargo. Overloaded or improperly secured cargo can cause accidents, and these regulations help to prevent such incidents. The weight and size restrictions also help to prevent damage to the infrastructure and prolong the life of highways and bridges.
Truck Maintenance Laws
Trucks are complex machines that require regular maintenance to ensure their safe operation. The FMCSA has established regulations governing the maintenance of commercial vehicles. These regulations require trucking companies to perform regular inspections and maintenance on their vehicles and to keep records of these inspections.
Federal regulations also require drivers to perform pre-trip inspections to ensure their vehicle is in good working order. Trucking companies must address any maintenance issues promptly to prevent accidents caused by mechanical failures.
Unfortunately, drivers and trucking companies will often cut corners when it comes to maintenance. They’ll even ignore maintenance entirely in some instances because they value profits more than safety. When they do, and their negligence results in an accident, they must be held accountable.
The Trucking Lawyers: A Power Truck Accident Law Firm
Despite the many regulations in place to ensure truck driver safety, accidents still occur. When accidents do happen, it’s essential that drivers and their families have access to legal representation.
The Trucking Lawyers is a power truck accident law firm that specializes in representing truck drivers and their families. We have a deep understanding of the federal trucking laws and regulations that govern the trucking industry and use this knowledge to advocate for our clients.
The Trucking Lawyers have a team of experienced attorneys who are well-versed in the complexities of trucking accident cases. Our legal representatives work tirelessly to investigate accidents and hold responsible parties accountable for their actions. Our lawyers also work to ensure that our clients receive the compensation they deserve for their injuries, lost wages, and other damages.
You can contact us online for a free consultation, or you can call (800) 732-3070. We’ll investigate the accident, determine all the parties to blame, and then pursue them for the compensation our clients have coming. Please get in touch with us as soon as you can so we can get to work on your behalf.