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Understanding FMCSA Trucking Regulations can be Critical to Your New York Truck Accident Case

Semis, tractor-trailers, and other large commercial trucks can be unwieldy and massively heavy vehicles. While passenger vehicles generally weigh between 2,000-5,000 lbs, a fully-loaded tractor-trailer can weigh over 80,000 lbs. If the driver is unable to safely command the vehicle due to drowsiness, drug-induced impairment, or safety problems with the vehicle itself, that truck can become a massive weapon on the road, capable of doing catastrophic damage.

Since these vehicles are capable of causing so much damage, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has created extensive regulations setting minimum standards for both carrier companies and their drivers, governing issues such as a commercial vehicle’s maintenance and safety features, as well as driver breaks and rest periods. Find a summary of the more significant regulations governing commercial trucking below. At Dupée & Monroe, our skilled Goshen truck accident attorneys can answer any additional questions you may have.

Drivers must adhere to certain hours of service

Drowsy driving has been found to be as dangerous as drunk driving, so in order to prevent crashes caused by drowsiness, the FMCSA mandates that drivers not be behind the wheel more than 11 hours in any 24-hour period, nor on the job for longer than 14 hours in a day, and that they rest for at least 30 minutes after eight hours spent driving. Once a driver has been working for 60 hours in a seven-day week, or 70 hours in an eight-day week, they’re required to take a rest period lasting at least 34 hours. All these driving, working, and resting periods must be documented in a log, but when drivers are in a hurry to deliver, these logs can be completed fraudulently.

Truck machinery and safety equipment must be carefully maintained

All long-haul trucks must undergo regular inspection by federal employees, and carrier companies must maintain records from these inspections and any violations uncovered. Drivers are also required to complete detailed inspections after each day’s work, which they must turn over to the carrier company. If some critical aspect of the vehicle, such as its tires, mirrors, safety equipment, coupling devices, or components of a braking system fail to meet minimum standards for safe operation, but drivers don’t include this information in their report to avoid having their truck taken off the road, the carrier could be liable for fraud and negligence should that truck later cause an accident.

Hold companies responsible for disregarding your safety while filling their pockets

Commercial truck drivers face pressure from their employers to deliver their shipments quickly. Often, that requires cutting corners on safety to get a job done cheaply and quickly. When drivers or shipping companies fail to adhere to federal safety rules, they’re not just breaking the law—they’re putting your life in jeopardy. At the New York truck accident law firm of Dupée & Monroe, we’re experienced in holding trucking companies to account when they prioritize speed and profits over human lives. If you’ve been hurt in a large truck accident, contact our Goshen offices as soon as possible for a no-cost evaluation of your claims. Let us put our skilled investigators to work gathering evidence to support your New York trucking accident claim, so that you can get the damages you deserve after a major accident.

Call Dupée & Monroe Goshen Attorneys after a New York Trucking Accident

For assistance after a large truck accident in New York’s Hudson Valley, contact the knowledgeable, effective, and dedicated Goshen truck accident lawyers at Dupée & Monroe for a consultation at 845-294-8900. 

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