Every day, millions of Americans share the roadways with semi trucks. While these large trucks are crucial for the transportation of all sorts of goods, they present serious risks to other drivers. Even when an 18-wheeler isn’t hauling any cargo, the vehicle itself can still weigh between 20,000 and 30,000 pounds. Because of their size and weight, trucks generate tremendous force when involved in motor vehicle accidents, causing devastating and even fatal injuries. Because of their potential to cause catastrophic injuries, trucking companies and drivers are highly regulated by the government. Federal regulations make truck accident claims much different than other motor vehicle accident claims.
FMCSA Regulations For Trucks
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the federal agency responsible for regulating the trucking industry. FMCSA is part of the United States Department of Transportation, which regulates a variety of aspects of trucks, including maintenance, weight loads, driver training, and working hours. Violating FMCSA regulations can result in large fines for truck drivers and the companies that employ them.
Under FMCSA’s rules, truck drivers must meet certain training requirements and hold special licenses to legally operate a large truck. This mandatory training helps ensure drivers are capable of operating such a large vehicle safely. After all, truck drivers are professional drivers, so their training needs to be taken seriously.
In addition to extensive training and licenses, truck drivers must abide by strict working hour regulations. Federal limitations on the amount of hours truckers can drive prevents drivers from suffering from drowsy driving, which can easily cause dangerous accidents. Drivers are only allowed to work a 14-hour working period, which has to include rest breaks. A driver cannot drive for more than 11 consecutive hours during the working period. Once the 14-hour working period has been completed, drivers are required to take a minimum of 10 consecutive hours off before getting back behind the wheel.
One of the most important FMCSA regulations requires truckers to record all driving hours in a logbook. This logbook will provide evidence regarding whether or not a driver is abiding by the working hour regulations. Oftentimes in truck accident cases, logbooks are used to illustrate whether fatigue was a contributing factor in accidents.
You Need To Immediately Hire An Attorney After A Truck Wreck
Truck accident claims are not the same as other types of motor vehicle accident claims. An investigation will need to take place into the trucking company, the driving record of the trucker, the truck’s maintenance records, and other important aspects of the case. By engaging the help of a lawyer, victims can be sure that evidence will be preserved, analyzed, and used to pursue the fullest compensation possible for the victims and their families. Trucking companies are only required to keep logbooks showing a trucker’s working hours for six months, so it is important to immediately reach out to an experienced truck accident attorney that can obtain and preserve these records.
Call The Glisson Law Firm Today
If you or someone you love was injured in truck wreck, don’t wait to get help. Call The Glisson Law Firm today for a free consultation. There is no upfront cost for working with us. We work on a contingency fee basis so you won’t owe us anything unless we help you recover compensation.