Commercial trucks are everywhere we look on the highways in and around the Spokane area, and throughout the United States. Because these trucks are so much larger than non-commercial passenger vehicles, crashes can have devastating – or deadly – results. In order to keep motorists safe while allowing the trucking industry to continue to help our economy, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enacts and enforces numerous safety regulations (FMCSRs) for commercial trucking companies and drivers.
Compliance with the FMCSRs is key for safety on our roads, though violations happen on a regular basis. While there are penalties for drivers and companies that violate these regulations, violations are often not discovered until after a severe crash and injuries have occurred. The following are some examples of violations that may lead to a serious accident.
Driving under the influence (DUI) = While DUI is unlawful under state laws, as well, the FMCSRs set stricter standards for commercial drivers. For non-commercial drivers, the legal limit for alcohol is 0.08 percent, but the limit for commercial drivers is 0.04 percent. There are also no-tolerance standards for drug use, as well as requirements for drug and alcohol testing. Violating this regulation can result in impaired drivers behind the wheels of massive trucks, which often leads to catastrophic accidents.
Driving too fast for conditions = While all truck drivers must obey speed limits, they also must judge when it is necessary to slow down below the speed limit due to adverse road or weather conditions. When truck drivers move too fast in dangerous conditions, they can lose control and crash.
Moving violations = There are many moving violations that are common among commercial drivers, all of which put other motorists at risk. These moving violations include:
Using a hand-held mobile device while driving = There are strict rules regarding smartphone and mobile device use by truck drivers. Any violations of these rules can result in distracted driving, which often causes drivers to crash.
Failing to secure a load or equipment = If cargo is not properly secured in a semi-truck, it can result in many problems. Cargo can shift and throw a trailer off-balance, resulting in a rollover or jackknife crash. Securement issues regarding flatbed trucks or open trailers can result in cargo spills and multiple collisions.
These are only some examples of the many possible violations that may indicate the truck driver was at fault in your crash. Always call 911 after a truck accident so that authorities can identify possible violations, and so you can get the medical help you need. Then, contact an experienced truck accident attorney to discuss what happened and your legal options as an injured accident victim.