Because large commercial trucks are so dangerous when they drive alongside much smaller passenger vehicles, the federal government sets strict regulations1 when it comes to the commercial trucking industry. Both truck drivers and trucking companies are expected to follow all of these regulations because any violations have the potential to cause accidents and serious injury to others. The following are some examples of how violating FMCSA regulations can cause truck accidents and injuries.
While it is against the law for any driver to operate their vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, commercial drivers have stricter rules when it comes to drinking and driving. According to FMCSA regulations, the legal limit for a truck driver is a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.04 percent, while it is 0.08 percent for other drivers. In addition, trucking companies are required to perform random tests on drivers to check for impairment before or after a driving shift. If a driver is over the legal limit or if a company fails to hold drivers accountable, serious drunk driving truck accidents can occur.
Hours of Service
Fatigued driving2 is extremely dangerous is can have the same effects as drunk driving, including slow reaction time, distorted judgment, and loss of focus. In some cases, accidents happen because a truck driver fell completely asleep behind the wheel of the truck. To avoid fatigued driving, the FMCSA enforces strict hours of service rules that require drivers to take adequate rest breaks after a certain number of hours or days on the road. When drivers ignore these restrictions, they may become fatigued and may cause crashes.
Inspecting the Truck
Commercial trucks are complex machines that carry tens of thousands of pounds on a regular basis at high speeds. Many things can go wrong with a truck either due to malfunction or regular wear and tear, and this can cause serious problems for a driver. If brakes or tires fail, for example, a driver will often crash the truck. For this reason, drivers and companies are expected to perform adequate inspections of certain truck parts before every driving shift. If they do not, it increases the risk of a collision.
The above are, of course, only a few examples of the many FMCSA violations that can be an issue in your truck accident case. If a truck driver or company is cited for a violation, it may give you an advantage in your case seeking compensation for your losses.
Contact an Experienced Minnesota Truck Accident Lawyer to Discuss Your Case
Cases that involve FMCSA violations can have unique legal issues, so it is important to seek help from a truck accident lawyer who is familiar with federal trucking regulations and their effect on your claim. At McEwen & Kestner, PLLC, we are committed to helping victims of truck accidents recover for their losses. If you are unable to come meet with us at our office, we will come see you at a time that is convenient for you at your home or in the hospital. To schedule a free case evaluation, call our office today at 800-732-3070 or contact us online.