When investigating the circumstances that led up to a truck collision, one of the most important acts to analyze is how the various federal regulations applied to the situation. Federal regulations apply throughout the United States and hold commercial truck drivers up to high standards regarding safety and other driving practices. If the commercial truck driver was responsible for violating one or more federal regulations, the truck driver can be held responsible for the resultant crash. The purpose of federal trucking regulations is simply to keep catastrophic events from occurring on roads.
Some of the federal regulation requirements include the following various areas:
- Alcohol and Drugs. Federal regulations hold commercial truck drivers to stricter standards than other commercial motor vehicle drivers. The Blood Alcohol Content, according to federal regulation, is .04 percent or higher. Commercial motor vehicles operators also subject to random testing for alcohol and drug use.
- Commercial Driver’s Licenses. Commercial truck drivers throughout the United States must obtain proper licensing before being legally permitted to operate commercial motor vehicles. Drivers must meet certain testing and physical requirements to obtain a commercial driver’s license.
- Hazardous Materials. Only some types of truckers can transport loads. Vehicles that transport hazardous materials require special marking and must travel along specific routes to avoid creating public safety hazards.
- Hiring Practices. To qualify as commercial truck driver, a driver must a commercial driver’s license in addition to passing the various required tests. Commercial truck drivers are subject to annual reviews of record in addition to providing information for drug and alcohol tests.
- Hours of Services. The federal government regulates that commercial truck drivers must legally operate a vehicle for established numbers of hours on the road before taking a mandated break. Federal regulations limit both the daily and weekly number of hours that a driver may operate a commercial motor vehicle. By limiting the numbers of hours that a driver can operate a commercial motor vehicle, federal law enforcement hopes this act will help to limit the number of diseases by preventing less driver fatigue. Many states have regulations identical to federal laws.
- Maintenance & Repair. Federal regulations provide standards for the quality of commercial motor vehicles. Companies are also required to maintain sufficient logs to monitor the quality of commercial motor vehicles.
- Weight Restrictions. Commercial motor vehicle must have no more than a gross weight of 80,000 pounds. Weights that exceed this federal regulation have a tendency to get involved in accidents.These weight restrictions are designed to help keep the nation’s investment in highways and bridges safe while also maintaining safety.
Although commercial motor vehicles represent a small percentage of vehicles on the road, these vehicles are responsible for one out of every eight crash fatalities in the U.S. As a result, federal regulations are very important for minimizing the amount of catastrophic consequences that occur due to commercial motor vehicle accidents.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a violation of federal trucking regulations, contact our law firm. Call 409-838-1000 or email our lawyers to schedule your free initial consultation.