Of the many potential causes of truck accidents in Tennessee, regulatory violations are some of the most frequently occurring. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has strict regulations in place that are geared toward reducing the risk of trucking collisions, but many drivers and carriers violate the rules in an effort to get their loads to their destinations in time. When a truck collision results from a trucking violation, a truck wreck attorney may argue a prima facie negligence claim against the responsible drivers and their employers.
Common Trucking Industry Violations
The FMCSA has established multiple rules that are meant to reduce the risk of trucking accidents. When large trucks cause collisions, victims are much likelier to suffer devastating injuries or fatalities. As a result, the industry is strictly regulated.
Drivers are only supposed to drive a certain number of hours per day, and they are supposed to take a minimum number of required breaks. There are also regulations concerning what the drivers are allowed to do while they are driving and rules about the frequency of maintenance and inspections of the trucks.
Under the law, drivers are only supposed to drive for 11 hours out of 14 with three extra hours designated for other activities, including eating, refueling, and others. They are also supposed to get a minimum of 10 hours off for rest before beginning new shifts. When drivers violate these hours of service rules, they may be fatigued. This heightens the risk of accidents caused by tired truck drivers.
The FMCSA also prohibits truck drivers from using their hands to make phone calls or to text while they are driving. Drivers who are caught texting, reading texts or talking on the phone while driving face substantial fines. They are allowed to talk on hands-free devices, however.
Truck companies are supposed to conduct regular inspections of their fleets. They are also supposed to follow regular maintenance schedules and to make prompt repairs. Drivers who pull over to have their required inspections will be fined if there are violations that are discovered. Road-side inspections involve looking at the brakes, load securement, exhaust system, lights, and tires. The inspectors also review the drivers’ licenses, logbooks, and paperwork to ensure that drivers and their vehicles are in compliance with the law.
Adhering to safety regulations is important for preventing accidents and saving lives. Violating the rules may cause serious accidents, harming others.