Trucking Accidents Caused by Common Trucking Regulation Violations
Just by their large and heavy design, commercial trucks, big rigs, and tractor trailers are inherently dangerous and prone to causing trucking accidents. In order to try to reduce the likeliness of a truck crash and increase the safety of everyone on the road, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has created a series of federal trucking regulations that all truckers and trucking companies in the country must follow. Failing to do so will dramatically increase the odds of a commercial truck causing a catastrophic accident.
Key FMCSA trucking regulations include:
- Speed: Most commercial trucks are not permitted to travel faster than 55 miles per hour, even on highways. This lowered speed limit is put in place since a vehicle will require more and more open road to stop the heavier it gets and the faster it travels.
- Weight: Along the same lines as limited speed to make braking more efficient, a commercial truck cannot exceed 80,000 total pounds when loaded with freight. Highways are often dotted with truck scales to ensure no big rigs are driving around while overloaded.
- Inspections: Commercial trucks are required to meet minimum inspection standards as put forth by the FMCSA. Trucking companies are tasked with ensuring the trucks in their fleet are receiving maintenance at regular intervals.
- Alcohol limits: It is strictly illegal for a commercial truck driver to operate their commercial vehicles with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.04 or greater, which is half the usual legal limit. However, FMCSA regulations state no commercial driver can operate their vehicle with a BAC level registering over 0.00, cannot have alcohol within their cab, and cannot operate a vehicle if they have had any alcohol within the last four hours.
- Schedules: Perhaps the most important of all regulations is also the most frequently violated: scheduling and hours of service regulations. Commercial truck drivers are not supposed to work more than 14 hours in a given day and not drive for more than 11 of those hours. They are also not supposed to be scheduled for more than 70 hours a week and often need 34-hour breaks before starting their next workweek. Trucking companies are notorious for finding ways to sidestep this rule, making truckers stay on the road for exhausting stretches of time, sometimes making them work 24-hour shifts.
Florida Trucking Accident Attorney Wes Pittman
If you were hit by a commercial truck driver, the odds are high they were violating some sort of FMCSA regulation at the time of the accident. Being able to prove as much can be instrumental for your injury claim, but where do you begin? What do you need to know in order to show liability for the accident does not belong to you?You can take the guesswork out of your claim by letting The Pittman Firm, P.A. manage it on your behalf from start to finish. Florida Personal Injury Attorney Wes Pittman has 30 years of injury law experience under his belt and a variety of professional awards and recognitions, including membership to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum for his incredible history of verdicts and settlements. To get his legal team on your side and challenge any defense put up by the trucking company, call (850) 784-6997 today or use an online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation.