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FMCSA Trucking Regulations

Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, PLLC

In an effort to prevent accidents, injuries, and fatalities in and around the trucking industry, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates and provides resources for truck drivers, carrier companies, and consumers.

FMCSA regulations lay out rules for the training, driving, and evaluation of truck drivers, as well as the responsibilities of their employers. The FMCSA also controls the system for commercial driver’s licenses (or CDLs).

If a trucker or shipping company violates FMCSA rules, they can lose their CDL and face various legal consequences, including a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

You can explore some of the most common FMCSA violations below:

Hours of Service Regulations

Perhaps the most well-known trucking regulations are those that regulate hours of service. These rules answer the question: how long can a truck driver drive in a day?

In most cases, property-carrying drivers may only drive 11 hours per day after having 10 consecutive hours off-duty. Occasionally, drivers utilize rest breaks and the “sleeper berth provision” to offset their on-duty time. In these instances, a driver may not exceed 14 hours of driving without taking 10 consecutive hours off duty.

Any driver who drives for over 14 hours without a 10-hour rest period is in direct violation of FMCSA regulations.

Violating these important rules can lead to drowsy driving, which can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence.

Controlled Substances

Drivers are forbidden from using drugs or alcohol while on the job. If they are taking a medication that will not affect their driving, their physician may be able to create an exemption for this rule. Otherwise, any recreational drugs or alcohol the driver has in their body can create on-duty use, which is strictly forbidden by the FMCSA.

Employers have a rigid responsibility to make sure their drivers are free of alcohol and drugs that might affect driving behaviors. In fact, employers are expected to test their drivers regularly, and sometimes randomly, and must have a strict policy on the misuse of alcohol and controlled substances.

Other Employer Responsibilities

In addition to maintaining a drug and alcohol-free workplace, employers are responsible for training their employees and supervising the safety of vehicles and loads.

Sometimes, accidents are unavoidable due to improperly loaded cargo or mechanical failures. In these cases, multiple parties may be held liable for any damages the crash causes.

Have You Been Harmed in a Truck Accident?

Like any other motor vehicle, semi-trucks and commercial vehicles are susceptible to accidents. While some truck accidents are unavoidable, the majority of these collisions are preventable.

If you were injured in or lost a loved one to a truck accident, our attorneys at Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, PLLC can help you find the cause and hold truck drivers and carrier companies accountable for any negligence that may have been involved.Simply call us at (918) 347-6456 and schedule a free consultation to get started.

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