Federal Trucking Regulations
Norman Truck Accident Attorneys – (866) 590-8173
Commercial truck drivers across the country are expected to follow strict federal trucking regulations created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). If they do not and cause an accident, all of the liability may rest on their shoulders or those of their parent company. Proving that a regulation was violated may require some investigative work and the oversight of a highly-experienced litigator.
At the Law Offices of Keith J. Nedwick, P.C., our Norman personal injury lawyers are dedicated to doing all we can to promote the wellbeing of our clients. In terms of our services, this translates to providing powerhouse legal representation from the moment your case is filed to the last minute of its conclusion. We genuinely want to see you and your family comfortable after being in a truck accident.
Truck Regulations That Must Be Followed
The FMCSA has imposed numerous regulations on commercial truckers and their employers or contractors due to the fact that an out-of-control big rig is incredibly dangerous. Each regulation has the ultimate goal of the public’s safety in mind, and many focus on preventing truck driver exhaustion. Studies have consistently shown that fatigue behind the wheel will increase the chance of an accident. If a trucker falls asleep while driving, or just loses some of their normal reaction time, the consequences could be catastrophic.
Key regulations established by the FMCSA include:
- Schedules: No trucker is permitted to drive more than 60 hours in 7 consecutive work days, or 70 hours throughout 8 consecutive work days.
- Shifts: A trucker’s shift should not exceed 14 hours, granted they were first given 10 consecutive hours off-the-clock; 3 of those 14 hours must be used for breaks and meal times; lastly, any work-related activity, such as driving or loading freight, is counted towards those 14 hours.
- Speed: Most commercial trucks are not permitted to exceed 55 miles per hour while on highways or 45 miles per hour on city streets. This may vary depending on the region or state.
- Weight: Trucks that are loaded beyond 80,000 pounds in gross weight – the truck’s weight itself and the cargo it carries – are in direct violation of FMCSA weight regulations. An overloaded truck will take longer to stop and be more difficult to steer safely.
Company Oversight & Compliance Issues
A truck driver is not the only person in control of and responsible for a commercial truck. The parent company that employs the driver can also be found liable for any truck accidents that result from a FMCSA violation. Companies are expected to train drivers correctly, maintain their fleet regularly, and take steps to ensure that all federal trucking regulations are met at all times. Compliance to all regulations does not automatically equate to an acceptable defense to be used by the company. There must exist both compliance and other reasonable safety precautions in place.
Take Care of Yourself & Protect Others
When you retain the services of our Norman personal injury lawyers, you will be taking steps towards the benefit of yourself and society. Sometimes the only way to make a large corporation, such as a trucking company, listen and improve its methods or behaviors is to sue them or bring them to court. We want to do everything in our power to both win you maximized compensation as well as help prevent similar accidents from happening in the future.
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