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How Does the Federal Government Account for Truck Accident Fatalities?


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was created in 2000 to prevent commercial motor-vehicle related fatalities and injuries. The FMCSA was formerly part of the Federal Highway Administration and some of its regulations have been around since 1936. In addition to creating and enforcing FMCSA regulations, the Administration handles commercial drivers’ licenses (CDLs), data collection, industry research, safety assistance, and other activities.

What Do FMCSA Regulations Control?

FMCSA regulations control the way trucks are driven, loaded, and maintained; set standards for the way shipping companies operate, and protect truck drivers’ rights. No matter what topic they address, these rules govern safety on the road.

When FMCSA rules are broken, devastating truck accidents can occur.

Common FMCSA Violations

Truck drivers and shipping companies are often cited for issues related to truck maintenance, training, and driver error.

Some of the most common FMCSA violations include:

  • Problems with headlights, brake lights, and windshield wipers
  • Poorly maintained brakes and tires
  • Lack of safety inspections and/or corrective action
  • Drivers without CDLs
  • Untrained or inexperienced drivers
  • Speeding, tailgating, and improper lane changes
  • Failure to yield and improper turns
  • Reckless driving
  • Cell phone use behind the wheel
  • Hours-of-service violations (driving for over 14 hours at a time or failing to take breaks)
  • Use of drugs and/or alcohol
  • Hazardous material violations (failing to disclose or be licensed for hazmat transportation)

While a broken windshield wiper may not seem like a fatal flaw, commercial trucks are larger and heavier than passenger vehicles, and even the smallest violation can be dangerous.

If an FMCSA violation causes you to get into a truck accident, you may need to get legal help.

How FMCSA Regulations Tie Into the Law

Speeding, drunk driving, and many of the behaviors discussed in the previous section not only violate federal trucking regulations but are also against the law.

If a truck driver or shipping company acts illegally, they may face criminal consequences, as well as civil lawsuits. Proving negligence in a personal injury case requires you to show that the driver or shipping company’s behavior is at least 51% at-fault for your accident, injuries, and losses. If a driver or business has already been found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, this burden of proof may be easier to meet.

Nevertheless, truck drivers and shipping companies are protected by large insurance companies and fierce legal counsel. If you want to win your truck accident case, you will need the right team on your side.

At the Law Offices of Keith J. Nedwick, P.C., We Are Here for You

For legal help after a truck accident, you need a team you can trust. The Law Offices of Keith J. Nedwick, P.C. has a reputation for results and our attorneys bring over 70 years of relevant experience to the table.

If you are ready to get the recovery you deserve, we are available 24/7.

Call us at (866) 590-8173 today or schedule your free meeting online.