Commercial trucks and large and they weigh a lot more than other vehicles on the road. As a result, injuries caused by semi-truck accidents have the potential to be catastrophic and even fatal. This is why the government has established a series of regulations that affect the state of California and the rest of the United States.
These regulations cover many issues such as how many hours a truck driver can drive, how much cargo they can carry, and other safety standards. If you have been in a truck accident and believe that the driver did not follow these regulations then you may have grounds for a person injury case. Reach out to The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation to learn more.
Regulations as set out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
The trucking regulations are established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, aka the FMCSA. They are in place to protect everyone on the road. They affect anyone who is involved in the truck industry, including drivers, trucking companies, and manufacturers of trucks and truck parts. If the regulations are not followed, then the results can be financial liability, fines, and other legal consequences.
Requirements for every truck driver
The FMCSA requires that all truck drivers are at least 21 years old, speak fluent English, have a valid CDL (commercial driver’s license), pass a physical exam every other year, and do not use drugs or alcohol while working (including any prescriptions that could impact their ability to drive a truck).
Requirements for trucking companies
It is up to the trucking company that employs or contracts the driver to ensure that the driver record and references of the drivers are accurate and worthy when they are hired. The trucking company is then required to monitor the driving records of their drivers on a yearly basis. The trucking company must perform routine mechanical inspections of every truck and make repairs before they send the vehicle out.
Not only must the trucking company follow those rules, but they must keep accurate inspection reports and repair records that they can present when requested. The FMCSA further requires that a truck cannot carry more than 20,000 pounds of cargo per axle it has. In total, the gross vehicle weight of any truck cannot exceed 80,000 pounds.
Rules about hours
The FMCSA has, in recent years, taken steps to try and reduce the number of truck accidents caused by driver fatigue. As a result, they have ruled that the maximum shift for a truck driver is 14 hours and they cannot drive for more than 11 hours during that shift, the driver must take at least one half-hour break within the first eight hours of their shift, and there must be at least ten hours between the end of one shift and the beginning of another.
These are just some of the rules covered by the FMCSA. If you believe that you have been injured as a result of a driver not following the rules and regulations, then it is time to contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.