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Austin Personal Injury Blog

Monday, February 19, 2018

Top 5 Rules Commercial Trucking Companies Violate That Cause Accidents

Top 5 Rules Commercial Trucking Companies Violate That Cause Accidents

Commercial trucking is regulated by a host of federal and state laws. To ensure compliance with these laws, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) undertakes compliance reviews, trucking company audits, complaint investigations and even roadside inspections. Violations can lead to hefty fines. Repeat violations can result in license revocation.

Here are the top five rule violations by trucking companies, according to Texas commercial truck accident attorneys.

1.Brakes Not Well-Adjusted

Commercial trucks are required to have well-functioning, well-adjusted brakes. FMCSA regulations even spell out specific adjustments for commercial truck brake chambers. However, many regulation violations are for faulty brakes. This is especially dangerous since bad brakes increase the risk of truck accidents.

To avoid violating FMCSA’s brake adjustment rules, trucking companies should always conduct pre-trip and post-trip inspections of their trucks’ brake systems. Truck drivers should specifically be trained on how to conduct these inspections.

2.Lighting Violations

FMCSA has requirements for trucks’ lamps, reflective devices and reflective tapes. However, some of the most common violations by trucking companies include missing lights and defective reflective materials. In addition, FMCSA officers usually view broken lights as an indicator of additional violations, prompting further inspection.  

To avoid violating these rules, trucking companies should conduct regular truck repairs and maintenance to fix all lights and reflective surfaces including license plate lamps. Carrying spare fuses and spare bulbs helps during emergencies.

3.Bad Tires

FMCSA requires trucks’ steer tires to have tread depth of 4/32 inches and other tires 2/32 inches. Bad, worn out tires can cause tire failure and blowouts. These can cause the driver to lose control of the truck, causing a crash.

Bad tires are a common FMCSA violation. To avoid this, trucking companies should conduct comprehensive pre-trip inspections. Drivers should check tire inflation with a gauge and keep current with all tire replacement dates.

4.Driver Log Not Current

Every driver operating a commercial truck is required to record duty status (on duty, off duty, not driving) on the driver log. Failure to keep the driver log current is a violation in itself. It is also a possible indicator of further violations of FMCSA regulations such as the Hours of Service regulations that limit driver hours.

To avoid this violation, drivers should always record their duty status on the log and keep their entries current. Internal company policies should reinforce this so that even if a driver is subjected to a roadside inspection, the log is current as at the time the driver was behind the wheel.

5.Drivers’ English Ability

FMCSA regulations require truck drivers to read and speak English well enough to understand highway signs, make entries to reports, respond to official inquiries and hold a conversation. Many trucking companies that employ non-native Americans fail to conduct proper English speaking assessments on them. This exposes them to fines from FMCSA while increasing the likelihood of road crashes. Trucking companies should conduct English reading and speaking examinations on potential drivers before hiring them.

If you were injured in a commercial truck accident, it could be because the trucking company was in violation of FMCSA rules and did not take steps to adhere to the rules. Schedule a consult with a Texas commercial trucking accident attorney on how to file a personal injury suit against the company at fault.







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