Accidents involving semi-trucks can be especially tragic. Trucks are large, heavy, especially dangerous vehicles. When a much smaller vehicle collides with a semi-truck on a highway, the results are usually devastating. It is because of this increased risk that the United States Congress passed the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act in the year 2000. This law created the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which promulgates regulations that motor carriers and truck drivers are required to follow. The primary aim of the FMCSA “is to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.”
FMCSA regulations establish minimum qualifications for all truck drivers. Drivers of longer trucks, or that are carrying hazardous materials, must meet additional requirements. These regulations also require that all motor carriers and truck drivers be competent to inspect, repair, and maintain the trucks that they operate. Another major aspect of FMCSA regulations are the limitations on hours of service for truck drivers. In an effort to limit accidents caused by truck driver fatigue, the FMCSA limits the total number of hours that a truck driver can work per day and per week.
If truck drivers or motor carriers violate the regulations promulgated by the FMCSA, they are liable for any accident that is caused as a result. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, it is important to consult with an attorney experienced with the FMCSA rules. An attorney can help you better understand your rights. If you would like to discuss your case or if you have questions about this issue, please contact us.