Clarksville Truck Accident Lawyers
What is the FMCSA?
Like all motorists, truck drivers are required to follow the rules of the road. That includes standard laws like driving at or under the speed limit, using a turn signal when changing lanes or turning, stopping at stop signs and red lights, and moving over when emergency vehicles are on the shoulder.
But did you know that truck drivers and trucking companies are also subject to an additional set of rules created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration? The FMCSA was created in 2000 to help regulate the trucking industry in American and improve its safety for both truck drivers and other motorists on the nation’s roadways.
Commonly Violated FMCSA Regulations
While FMCSA regulations are helpful at creating a culture of compliance and safety in the trucking industry, not all drivers and trucking companies follow them as closely as they should. Some of the most commonly violated rules include:
- Maximum driving and on-duty time
Truck drivers are limited to specific hours behind the wheel or on-duty in a given period of time. If they exceed that time limit, they and their employer can suffer harsh penalties. These time limits were created to help discourage drivers from staying awake for extreme lengths of time in order to make deliveries faster and maximize their profits. Drowsy driving is extremely dangerous for truck drivers and is one of the leading causes of accidents.
- Maximum load limits
In addition to staying awake and behind the wheel for excess lengths of time, truck drivers and trucking companies both sometimes stretch their profits by overloading trucks far beyond what is recommended by the truck manufacturer. The FMCSA puts limits on every truck, as overloaded trucks can be much more difficult to maneuver and stop or slow down in an emergency. In addition, improperly loaded trucks may have too much weight on one side, making them more likely to tip or roll over and cause serious accidents.
- Required maintenance schedules
Because of their large moving parts and constant wear and tear, trucks require frequent maintenance to remain safe to drive. But truck drivers, truck owners, and trucking companies sometimes neglect to maintain their trucks or repair any problem areas until serious accidents occur. Tire blowouts, brake failures, steering problems, and other mechanical errors that can cause major accidents are all preventable if the truck is inspected on a routine basis for any broken or worn parts.
- Approved routes
Some roads are off-limits to trucks due to certain factors like bridges, narrow lanes, or small turning radiuses that make driving trucks through these areas dangerous to truck drivers and other motorists. But in an effort to save time, some truck drivers may ignore warning signs or off-limits notifications and use these roads. If a driver causes an accident on a road that prohibits truck drivers, he or she can be considered in violation of FMCSA regulations and liable for any accident-related expenses.
These are just a small list of the regulations the FMCSA enforces on nearly every entity involved in the trucking industry.
If you or someone you love was injured in a truck accident and you suspect an FMCSA guideline was violated, the Clarksville truck accident attorneys at Matt Hardin Law can investigate. We know Tennessee truck accident laws and FMCSA guidelines, and we can determine who could be liable for your medical bills, lost wages, vehicle repair costs, and more. Get in touch with us today by dialing (615) 200-1111 or fill out a free online form to speak with our legal team.