Violations of FMCSA Regulations Leading to Trucking Accidents
A federal agency known as the FMCSA regulates the conduct of trucking companies and their drivers. These regulations must be adhered to in all states. As it is federal, these regulations apply to all states and set the minimum requirements for all truckers, logistic companies, and other entities.
Most of the FMCSA regulations are focused on the safety of all drivers and passengers. Violation of these regulations can result in a catastrophic collision. When this occurs, state law allows an injured victim or their family to use proof that the regulations were violated as a basis to show that negligence has occurred.
Examples of the FMCSA regulations that a trucking company or their drivers may violate include the following:
Alcohol and Drug Prohibition
FMCSA regulations prohibit a driver from having any alcohol while operating a motor vehicle. Drivers should not have any BAC. The FMCSA does not allow any truck driver to consume alcohol within four hours of starting their shift. Sadly, many truck drivers violate this regulation, leading to catastrophic collisions.
Hours of Service Violations
Hours of service dictates how long a driver can operate their semi-tractor trailer. These regulations are put in place for the safety of the driver and for the general public. Some of the major HOS requirements include the following:
FMCSA requirements state how cargo should be secured to prevent an accident. Examples include the type of straps/lashings, how often a driver should check the cargo to ensure it is safely secured, how many devices per foot of cargo, requirement of checking cargo before starting a trip, within 50 miles of starting and every two hours during the trip. Due to the frequency in how often cargo is supposed to be checked, accidents involving unsecured cargo should never occur if FMCSA requirements are adhered to.
Drivers must exercise caution during inclement weather to minimize the risk of collisions, including for snow, heavy rain, storms, fog or any other poor weather conditions. If conditions are unsafe, a driver should slow down or stop until conditions improve. This means almost all trucking crashes in snowstorms or heavy rain will violate this section and allow victims to have a strong liability claim.
FMCSA regulations require trucking companies and their drivers to adhere to specific requirements regarding tire safety and quality. Truck drivers must ensure that tires do not have any tread or sidewall separation, no exposure of ply or belt material, and ensuring the tire is not flat or has any audible or visible leak.