The United States Government’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is in charge of regulating the commercial trucking industry. The FMCSA puts into place regulations that are intended to improve safety standards industry-wide and to make roadways safer for all who use them.
What federal trucking violation might have caused my Virginia truck accident?
Regrettably, freight companies and truck operators do not always follow these regulations. This negligence often leads to serious accidents that can cause catastrophic and even deadly injuries.
If you were injured in a collision involving a Virginia truck accident, contact the Virginia commercial truck accident attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp for your free consultation. Our reputable attorneys will review the details of your case and establish the best legal strategy for holding the negligent driver accountable.
Most Commonly Violated Federal Trucking Regulations
The federal trucking regulations that are most often violated and therefore contribute to the majority of commercial truck accidents are:
Extreme Work Hours
Truck drivers are extremely restricted in the amount of consecutive hours they are allowed to be on the road without stopping. Unfortunately, many commercial truck operators chose to disregard these Hours of Service regulations due to personal choices or pressure from their employer to meet an unrealistic delivery deadline. When drivers are forced to get behind the wheel without ample sleep, or meal and restroom breaks, it not only impacts their health in both the long and short term, but it also leads to a decrease in their attention spans that makes the chances of an accident much higher.
Alcohol and Drug Violations
It is, obviously, against the law for anyone to operate any type of vehicle while they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Freight companies are required to drug test all new employees as well as conduct periodic drug tests on their existing employees. Truck drivers are also required to take a mandatory drug test after being involved in any type of accident.
If a trucking company fails to perform a required drug test and document the results, they are in violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s regulations and could be penalized via fines and a lawsuit.
Inadequate Driver Screening and Training
Before being allowed to drive a commercial vehicle, drivers must undergo a certain amount of classroom and on-the-road training. Federal laws obligate freight companies to conduct a thorough background check on all potential truck operators to make sure they have the appropriate license and credentials, and a good driving record.
Commercial drivers also must have current medical exam cards that indicate they are medically cleared to operate a truck.
Drivers who are in poor health or who lack the proper training have a greater chance of causing serious accidents. If this happens, the company that failed to conduct a background check or who hired them knowing they were unfit to drive could be held liable.
Improper Equipment and Vehicle Maintenance
Commercial vehicle owners are required to conduct routine maintenance and inspections on all of their equipment, including their vehicles. Freight companies have to make certain that all safety equipment is in proper working order, such as:
- Turn indicators
Improperly maintained equipment and vehicles can cause accidents. If a freight company is negligent in this regard, it can be held responsible.
Improperly Loaded Cargo
Freight loaders, drivers, and trucking companies have a duty to load cargo onto a truck properly. Unbalanced or overloaded trailers are extremely hazardous for the truck driver and everyone else on the roadway. When cargo is improperly loaded, truck operators have a difficult time keeping control of their rigs. This could cause trailers to fishtail, swerve, or even overturn.
Speak to An Experienced Norfolk Truck Accident Lawyer
Being involved in a commercial truck accident is traumatic, especially if it leaves you seriously injured because a negligent freight company or truck driver neglected to follow the rules that are there for everyone’s safety.
The skilled Virginia Beach truck accident attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp know how hard life can be after a serious truck accident. We can help you secure financial compensation for your injuries, lost wages, pain, suffering, and more. Contact us today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation by calling (833) 997-1774.