Top FMCSA Violations By Truckers Are Shockingly Dangerous
No one in their right mind would operate a motorized vehicle while blindfolded, but driving without properly working lights is a similar scenario. Now imagine a truck driver behind the wheel of a massive 18-wheeler, semi, or other large truck, and think about the potential devastation of failed vehicle lamps. Shockingly, the most frequently cited violation of federal trucking regulations is broken lights according to a recent report. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found that inoperable lamps were behind almost 12 percent of all citations issued in 2021.
In the US, more than 300,000 truck operators violated laws regarding this basic safety equipment. However, there are plenty of other regulations that truckers flout, putting other motorists at risk of serious injuries or death. You should discuss legal options with an Oakland truck accident lawyer if you were hurt or lost a loved one for any FMCSA violation.
Safety Violations by Truck Drivers
Rules established by the FMCSA exist to protect everyone sharing the road with commercial vehicles, and officials have various ways of enforcing their safety regulations. For instance:
- The FMCSA has established a Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse that tracks substance abuse violations by individuals holding commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs). The agency conducts random testing of truck drivers, but an operator involved in a truck accident may also be subject to screenings.
- Federal regulations that apply to truckers also require them to keep records on Hours of Service (HOS), since fatigued drivers are more likely to cause crashes after working too long. Failure to comply with HOS rules – and failure to properly track work hours – could put a driver out of commission.
- Besides rules on having all lighting in working order, FMCSA regulations also cover such systems as steering, brakes, tire inflation, and many others. Trucking companies are required to stay current on maintenance and inspections, and maintain records of their efforts.
- FMCSA has implemented regulations on weight of the truck and cargo, as well as rules on hazardous materials.
Truck drivers are obviously responsible for complying with the FMCSA regulations that apply to them, their rigs, and their cargo. However, there are multiple parties involved with safety matters every time a trucker gets into the cab. These individuals and entities could be liable for a truck accident even when miles away, such as:
- A trucking company that motivates employees to violate HOS rules;
- The owner of the semi tractor that might let inspections, repairs, or maintenance issues slide; or,
- The company that loaded the trailer with noncompliant cargo or a load too heavy for the truck class.
An Oakland Truck Accident Attorney Will Pursue All At-Fault Parties
Truck drivers who violate FMCSA rules put all California motorists at risk, so it is good to know that you have legal options for recovering compensation. Our team at Venardi Zurada, LLP is ready to assist with your remedies, so please contact our offices in Oakland, Walnut Creek, or Redding, CA to set up a free consultation with one of our truck accident lawyers. We can advise you after learning more about your circumstances.