What regulations govern the trucking industry and how do they impact accident claims?

While trucks are crucial in transporting goods across the United States, their operations can cause devastating accidents, resulting in catastrophic injuries and even death. As such, the District of Columbia and the United States government enforce strict rules and regulations governing the trucking industry. These rules and regulations are implemented to minimize truck accidents and meet safety standards. Despite these regulations being strictly enforced, not all drivers or trucking companies adhere to these laws. If you have been injured due to the negligence of a truck driver or their employer, contact a skilled Washington, D.C. Truck Accident Lawyer who can help you fight for the just compensation to which you are entitled. Please continue reading to learn how violations of trucking regulations can impact your accident claim. 

What are some of the most essential trucking compliance regulations?

Truck drivers are typically under immense pressure to transport their cargo loads where they need to be within a specific timeframe. To meet their deadlines, they often push themselves way past their limits which results in them experiencing fatigue. Unfortunately, fatigued driving is one of the most common causes of truck accidents. As such, hours of service regulations are enforced to prevent drowsy driving.

Per federal regulations, truckers are not permitted to be on the road for more than eight consecutive hours without taking a 30-minute break. Driving several consecutive hours without taking breaks can lead to fatigue, impairing truckers’ cognition and other capabilities needed to operate a big rig safely. As a result, truck drivers can only drive for a total of eleven hours a day, taking a break of no less than thirty-four hours when driving during a six to eight-day window.

Alongside hours of service regulations, drivers and trucking companies must comply with weight and size restrictions. Commercial trucks can weigh no more than 80,000 pounds. This regulation is enforced to prevent rollover accidents. Unfortunately, when cargo is overloaded, making the truck too heavy, it increases the chances of rollover accidents. Trucking regulations also require drivers and trucking companies to perform routine inspections and maintenance, alcohol and drug testing, and meet specific driver qualifications.

How does non-compliance with these rules impact accident claims?

If a truck driver or their employer has violated governmental regulations, they were negligent. These parties must legally adhere to local, state, and federal trucking regulations. If they fail to do so, they will be breaking the law, making them negligent. However, despite their non-compliance being the cause of an accident, proving they violated a governmental trucking regulation can be challenging. For example, if a driver fails to adhere to their house of service regulations, it will be difficult to prove their driver fatigued caused the collision.

If you have been injured due to the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company, it is in your best interest to get in touch with a determined truck accident lawyer from Trombly & Singer, PLLC, today. Our firm is prepared to help you seek reasonable compensation for your devastating losses.