Commercial truck accidents tend to happen with alarming regularity in Texas. Data shows that a vast majority of these accidents happen as a result of FMCSA violations.
What is the FMCSA? What is its role in the trucking industry? What are the most common FMCSA violations that lead to commercial truck accidents? Let us take a look at the answers to these questions.
What is the FMCSA?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration – commonly referred to as the FMCSA – is a regulatory agency which was established in 2000 as a subset of the US Department of Transportation. Its primary mission is to develop and enforce safety regulations that can reduce the risk of accidents involving commercial trucks.
Trucking companies in the US are required to follow the regulations and guidelines issued by the FMCSA. If a trucking company violates these regulations, and if the violation results in an accident, the company will not only have to pay civil penalties, but can also be held liable for the deaths, injuries, property damage, and other losses resulting from the accident.
Common FMCSA Violations That Lead to Truck Accidents
Hours of Service (HOS) Violations
HOS regulations are meant to prevent trucking companies from overworking their drivers. Ask any FMCSA lawyer and they will tell you that a trucking company cannot force their driver to drive more than 60 hours during a seven-day period or more than 70 hours during an eight-day period. Also, if a driver has been on duty for 14 consecutive hours, they must rest for at least 10 hours before they can start driving again.
Unfortunately, many trucking companies tend to violate these regulations blatantly and force their drivers to work extremely long hours. This is why driver fatigue remains one of the leading causes of truck accidents in the country.
Vehicle Maintenance Violations
Trucking companies are required to inspect, repair and maintain the vehicles in their fleet on a regular basis. Failing to do so, or failing to keep a record of these inspections and maintenance actions, is considered a violation.
Hiring Unqualified Drivers
Trucking companies are required to hire drivers who are qualified and trained to operate commercial vehicles. If they hire an unqualified or untrained driver, and if the driver causes an accident, the victims can sue the company with the help of an FMCSA lawyer and demand restitution for their injuries.
Not Having a Controlled Substance Testing Program in Place
Trucking companies are required to have a proper alcohol and drug testing program in place so that their drivers can be tested periodically. Any failure on their part to test the drivers will be considered an FMCSA violation and if the violation results in an accident, they can be held financially accountable for the resulting deaths, injuries, and other losses.
Experienced FMCSA Lawyers to Handle Truck Accident Claims
If you are a commercial truck accident victim who is in need of effective legal representation, Trial Power is here to help. Attorneys Dana Kirk and Denman Heard have decades of experience in civil litigation and have successfully handled numerous truck accident claims over the years.
We can help you get justice and the restitution you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation with a qualified FMCSA lawyer.