Tractor-trailer collisions are some of the most dangerous types of accidents, and often result in devastating injuries for those involved. If you or a loved one suffered harm in a crash with a heavy commercial vehicle you may have a right to pursue compensation. Truckers must uphold the same duty of care as all other vehicles on the road to obey traffic laws and keep others safe. However, due to their massive size and greater potential to cause deadly crashes, truck drivers are held to an even higher standard and have additional laws and regulations that they must follow.
A local semi-truck crash attorney could investigate your case to determine if a trucker violated any of the federal trucking laws. Reach out today to learn more about trucking regulations in Jackson accident claims and how they might impact your ability to seek damages.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has ultimate authority on matters related to the truck industry, though, it is fairly self-regulated, unless there is a problem. It is a rare occurrence for the federal government or associated authorities to shut down a trucking company. The organization would have to have a long history of continuous problems before they would ever be taken off the road.
They are supposed to be tied together, though, trucking companies sometimes try to skirt or work around the rules. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), property-carrying drivers may only operate a vehicle for 11 hours maximum before they are required to go off-duty. Truckers often modify their books and travel logs due to pressure from their employer to driver longer than they are legally allowed. Though, fortunately, due to GPS tracking, this can be proven and used as evidence in a Jackson truck accident claim against a negligent trucker or company that they were breaking federal trucking laws and doctoring their books.
As mentioned above, there are limits on the number of hours that truck operators can be on the road at a time. Truckers are also limited to how much they are able to drive without rest. According to the FMCSA, a mandatory 30-minute break is required once a trucker has driven for eight hours consecutively. Additionally, a truck driver may not continue operation after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A trucker may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty to rest.
There are also federal regulations around the maintenance of the trucks themselves. Before a truck driver ever gets on the road, according to the FMCSA, they are supposed to perform a multipoint inspection of the truck, and that includes lights, signals, and brakes to ensure that the truck is safe to operate.
Truck operators are also legally required to take certain remedial measures in bad weather as to how fast they are allowed to go. According to the FMCSA, if wet or snowy conditions are present on the roads, truck drivers must reduce their speeds by at least one-third of the posted speed limits.
The regulations listed by the FMCSA is federal law. So, if a trucking company is in violation of these laws, they could be held liable and they can be fined and if they are repeat offenders. In extreme cases, they could even be taken off the road until those violations are cured.
Violations of federal safety laws are one of the ways that our dedicated team of attorneys at Reaves Law Firm, PLLC hold and establish liability and negligence against trucking companies following accidents in Jackson that result in a personal injury. Our proactive legal professionals will delve through all of a trucker’s documents. Trucking cases are much more document intensive than regular car accidents because you have to go through the trucker’s logs, their travel books, and their inspection reports to make sure that the company itself is up to code with the federal regulations. If our diligent lawyers find any discrepancy in the trucker’s documents, they could use it to build a negligence claim against the trucker or the trucking company.
One of the easiest ways to prove negligence in an 18-wheeler crash is to show that the trucker or the trucking company disregarded federal laws. For help with your case, or if you have additional questions on the impact of trucking regulations in Jackson accident claims, call our knowledgeable team at Reaves Law Firm, PLLC today to schedule a private consultation.