What Kinds of FMCSR Violations Can Lead to Commercial Truck Accidents?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration1 (NHTSA), there were approximately 104,000 people injured in accidents involving large trucks during 2012. Commercial vehicles such as semi-trucks and other specialized vehicles are an everyday sight on Florida roadways and perform an essential function in the national economy. When these vehicles are involved in accidents, the results can be devastating. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety2 (IIHS), large trucks can weigh as much as 20 to 30 times as much as passenger vehicles. As a result, they are capable of causing extremely serious damage when they are involved in collisions.
In an effort to mitigate the risk of injury that large commercial vehicles pose to the public, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations3 (FMCSR) regulates almost every aspect of the industry, from driver licensing to height and weight regulations. When truckers or trucking companies violate these regulations, it can cause serious accidents and devastating injuries. In some cases, the noncompliance with specific regulations may be sufficient to establish legal liability on the part of the truck driver or trucking company. As a result, it is important for anyone who has been involved in a truck accident to retain an attorney who is familiar with the trucking industry and litigation related to truck accidents. To schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers, call the Dolman Law Group today at (727) 451-6900.
There are many types of FMCSR violations that could potentially lead to an accident. Some of the more common include the following:
- Hours-of-Service Violations – The federal hours-of-service rules4 regulate the amount of time that a truck driver may operate his or her vehicle in a given period of time. Unfortunately, truck drivers are often incentivized to violate these rules by demanding customers and trucking companies that would like to make as many deliveries as possible. The dangers associated with driver fatigue are well-documented and can include delayed reaction time, impaired judgment, problems with motor skills, and difficulty concentrating. As a result, truck drivers who violate these rules can often cause serious accidents.
- Conspicuity Requirement Violations – The federal regulations include conspicuity requirements which are designed to ensure that trucks and their trailers are visible at night or in other situations where visibility may be an issue. They detail locations that reflective materials must be placed and are extremely specific. It can be extremely difficult to see trucks that not in compliance with these regulations, a situation that has the potential to result in serious accidents.
- Conducting a Pre–Trip Inspection – The federal regulations require truck drivers to conduct a pre-trip inspection to ensure that their vehicle is safe to operate in its current condition. When drivers fail to conduct these inspections or do so carelessly, accidents can occur as a result.
- Licensing of Commercial Drivers – While states issue commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs), the federal government sets minimum standards regarding training and driver qualification. If a driver operates a commercial truck without the requisite training, he or she may not be sufficiently experienced to safely drive a large truck. In addition, trucking companies may be liable for hiring drivers who do not have the required credentials.
Contact the Dolman Law Group today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Clearwater truck accident lawyer
Commercial trucks are required to comply with myriad of federal and state regulations that are designed to protect the public. When they fail to do so, the results can be devastating. The experienced attorneys of the Dolman Law Group are dedicated to helping people who have been hurt because of truck driver or trucking company negligence recover for their losses. We are dedicated to personal service and make sure that our clients have access to the attorney that is handling their case. In addition, we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning that our clients do not pay any legal fees unless we successfully recover on their behalf. To schedule a free consultation with one of our truck accident lawyers, please call our office today at (727) 451-6900.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756