Because of the dangers tractor trailer crashes pose, the Federal Government enacted numerous rules and regulations to ensure tractor trailer companies and their operators maintain and drive them safely. These safety regulations are codified in law at 49 CFR 390 through 49 CFR 399 and are referred to as the Federal Motor Carrier Regulations.
Below are some of the most common regulations that are violated in trucking accidents:
The Hours of Service (HOS) Regulations are designed to keep drivers from operating commercial vehicles while tired or sleepy. Unfortunately, some employers often encourage truck drivers to break these rules in order to get shipments to their destination as fast as possible. Since drivers are often paid by the mile, they may also be tempted to break these rules in order to rack up more miles for themselves. Sometimes, there are special bonuses available to drivers that make a shipment within a certain time frame.
The HOS rules include, but are not necessarily limited to:
While state laws limiting the intoxication of drivers apply to all motorists, the federal regulations place stricter control over professional truck drivers and their employers. Here are some important aspects of drug and alcohol regulation:
Commercial Motor Vehicle Inspections / Daily Driving Logs and Reports
In order to ensure all regulations are met, drivers and their employers are required to keep extensive logs and reports. These range from vehicle inspection reports to the daily log of a driver’s hours. These items include:
Since trucking companies are only required to keep evidence for a certain amount of time, it is important personal injury accident victims seek legal assitances as soon as possible.
Many times, we are contacted months after a crash occurs. You can rest assured the truck company will dispose of any incriminating evidence they are not required to keep. Our law firm takes immediate action to ensure drivers and their employers are placed on notice of the claim, and request certain evidence be retained.
In our experience handling Missouri personal injury lawsuits arising from truck crashes, we have seen employers routinely encourage drivers to break safety rules. The most common violations are:
If we determine a truck company knowingly violated one of these safety regulations, we will recommend you pursue punitive damages, for the reckless or conscious disregard for public safety.
If you or a family member were hurt in a truck accident and need more information, contact our personal injury attorneys.
E. Ryan Bradley has extensive experience handling truck crashes. We can help you sort through your truck accident claim or lawsuit. Contact us today for a free consultation.