About Federal Trucking Regulations
Helping You Build an Effective Injury Claim
The U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, regulates all commercial vehicles, including 18 wheelers. These regulations include those for drivers, vehicles, and companies involved in the trucking industry. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident with a commercial truck, there may have been violations of federal regulations. This is an important factor in an injury claim, and at Lenahan Law Firm, our Dallas personal injury lawyers can assist you to evaluate the information and to determine how to best move forward and pursue compensatory damages.
Contact our Dallas injury attorney today to schedule your case evaluation!
Drugs and Alcohol Use Is Prohibited
Truck drivers are restricted from consuming drugs or alcohol, as an intoxicated driver is an extreme danger to all who share the road or highway. Drivers are required to be tested for alcohol and drugs. There is also a post-accident testing program to help accident investigators to determine the underlying cause of a serious truck accident. How these tests are performed is tightly regulated with regard to procedures.
Trucking firms must comply with all state and federal regulations or face serious consequences, particularly if an employee (or contracted driver) is found to have been under the influence of any substance that could have inhibited the ability to safely operate a commercial truck or 18-wheeler.
Identifying Evidence from Driver Logs and Black Boxes
- The trucking firm and driver are required to keep accurate and truthful records. If any trucking log is falsified, with regard to any of the following matters, it will be a very serious matter:
- Length of time on the road in one trip
- Sleep periods
- Other falsifications
Commercial trucks have a "black box" similar to those in airplanes that keeps track of certain information, including speed of the vehicle, stops, starts and other important matters. In many case, it may be necessary to subpoena the information and measure it against the driver's written log to find violations. There are many federal regulations and when a violation is found, this could have a significant impact on the final outcome of the case.
Routine Truck Maintenance Is Required
As with a plane, a truck driver is required to ensure that the vehicle's safety systems are operating correctly. A commercial truck has critical safety systems, including two braking systems. Tire blowouts can lead to a jackknife or other serious accident, and federal regulations include ensuring that the tire tread is not worn down past a point in which the truck could become dangerous. If a trucking firm has allowed a driver to operate a vehicle with dangerous tires, they could be held accountable for this negligent act.
How Many Hours Can a Truck Driver Legally Drive?
Those vehicles involved in interstate or intrastate commerce that weigh 10,001 lbs. or more have an 11 hour driving limit after 8 hours off-duty. A driver cannot legally operate the vehicle after 8 days of work until that driver has taken 34 hours off duty because the dangers of fatigued truck driving are very serious. When a driver must make a delivery, this point can be violated. Truck drivers may not consider the danger that is posed to others, but only that the delivery must take place within the restricted number of days/hours. In a trucking accident, reviewing the information about hours of service can be a critical point in a successful claim.
For more information about trucking regulations, either federal or state, contact our truck accident lawyer in Dallas. We have extensive knowledge and experience in all truck regulations and should review and evaluate your case as early as possible after the injury accident. We strictly represent the seriously injured and take on a limited number of clients.
Trust Your Case to a Professional Dallas Truck Accident Attorney
We are advocates for the injured and their families, and we take our duty to our clients extremely seriously. Call today for more information.