Trucking Regulations

Rules and Regulations to Prevent Truck Accidents

At Meyerkord & Meyerkord, we have more than a century of combined experience and our Missouri truck accident attorneys have extensive familiarity with the regulations that govern the commercial trucking industry. Many of these rules are in place to reduce the number of truck accidents, and failure to abide by them may be used as grounds for a personal injury or wrongful death claim. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for enacting and enforcing a number of different regulations, including:

Hours of Service Regulations
The driver is only permitted to drive for a maximum of 11 hours following 10 consecutive hours of off-duty time and may not be on duty for more than 14 hours consecutively. The hours of service rules also place limits on the total number of hours a driver can spend behind the wheel in a seven- or eight-day period, as well as imposing conditions on whether he or she rests in a sleeper berth in the truck cab or elsewhere. The FMCSA reports that approximately 16% of roadside truck driver inspections resulted in a citation for hours of service violations in 2011.

Cell Phone Use
The FMCSA has recently enacted a ban on all use of handheld cell phones or handheld personal electronic devices for truck drivers who carry loads of hazardous materials. This includes using the phone to talk or text. Violations can result in the driver being subjected to steep fines ranging into the thousands of dollars.

Alcohol and Drug Testing
Under federal law, trucking companies are required to perform pre-employment testing, random testing, and post-accident testing of their drivers to screen for possible drug or alcohol abuse. Such tests are also required when there is a basis to suspect the trucker of drunk driving or using drugs on the job.

Cargo Securement
The loads and cargoes of semi-trucks are required to be fastened in such a way that they will remain secure and not fall off the truck or interfere with its operation. The fastenings must be able to withstand at least 80% of the full cargo weight when braking, 50% of the weight when accelerating or turning, and 20% of the weight when traversing a bump or cresting a hill.

Inspection and Maintenance
The FMCSA imposes numerous regulations concerning the routine inspection of commercial trucks, such as a requirement that the driver conduct a visual inspection of the vehicle before taking it out on the road. Any defects or worn components that are discovered must be repaired at the earliest convenience, as failure to maintain the truck can lead to accidents.

Get in Touch with Meyerkord & Meyerkord, LLC Today

When we represent a client in legal action over a truck accident, we conduct a thorough investigation of the incident to determine whether any of the regulations of the FMCSA or other governmental agencies were violated. By holding truckers and trucking companies who break the rules accountable for their actions, we help to make the roads safer for everyone. If you suffered an injury in a truck accident, speak with a member of our team today. During your initial consultation, we can help you understand your claim and the best way to fight for the compensation you need and deserve. To schedule your first meet, contact a Missouri truck accident attorney from our firm today.