The Role of Federal Regulation In Mississippi Trucking Accidents
Auto accidents involving large trucks like those hauling commercial freight are far deadlier than those involving only passenger vehicles. When auto accidents involve vehicles hauling up to 40 tons of cargo on tractor trailers, the dangers and risks to everyone on the road escalate quickly. In order to protect drivers from these potential dangers, certain regulations are in place. The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) dictates safety rules and regulations for drivers and trucking companies.
FMCSA Safety Regulations
The FMCSA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation that works to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related injuries and fatalities. Their safety regulations include a number of measures, such as:
- Maximum Driving Time: These rules dictate the number of consecutive drive-time hours allowed for a driver as well as the number of required rest breaks. Tired drivers can have reduced reflexes and even fall asleep at the wheel. Maximum driver time standards are in place to prevent trucking companies and drivers from pushing the limits in order to complete more deliveries and make a greater profit.
- Record Keeping Requirements: Commercial motor vehicle drivers are required to keep a record of their duty status while in each city or town. Drivers are required to report when they are on and off duty as well as when they are sleeping or driving. These logs create a detailed record and are paramount in providing proof of compliance with drive time requirements.
- Automatic On-Board Recording Devices: Companies may require drivers to use an automatic on-board recording device to record their hours of service. These devices replace standard record keeping logs and are considered less likely to be tampered with.
- Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance: All employees of commercial motor vehicle companies that are responsible for inspection or maintenance are required to comply with the FMCSA standards of maintenance, including lubrication standards, periodic inspection requirements, and qualifications of brake inspectors. These basic standards of maintenance help to ensure that these 40-ton vehicles are not unnecessarily dangerous to those with whom they share the road.
Failure To Comply May Bolster Your Claim
After a trucking accident, an inspection of the vehicle is the first step in determining if the driver was compliant with FMCSA safety regulations at the time of the crash. Proper inspection can mean the difference between a lost case and receiving compensation for your injuries. Trucking company logbooks and records should be examined closely to determine their accuracy and validity. An experienced truck accident attorney can weed through the evidence and build a case based on witness statements, physical evidence and violations of FMCSA safety regulations. If the trucking company failed to comply with federal regulations regarding proper maintenance and bookkeeping designed to protect other passengers on the road, it may have contributed to causing your injuries.
Contact an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney
Claims against large trucking companies are more complex and difficult than most other traffic accident cases. Truck drivers are represented and backed by trucking companies and attorneys who primarily deal with limiting the liability of all parties. Having representation on your side can make all the difference.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, the Law Offices of Judy Guice can work with you to get the compensation you deserve. Our experienced truck accident attorneys work with accident victims in going up against the trucking companies.