Trucking Safety Regulations
Truck accidents and car accidents may seem similar — but if you look deeper you will find important differences that may affect how injury litigation plays out. Many of these differences are tied to the regulations that govern the trucking industry.
Let’s take a closer look at how these safety regulations can impact someone who has been victimized by a serious collision.
Understanding How Safety Regulations Impact Truck Accident Litigation
The sheer size of trucks makes them especially dangerous to other motorists if they are operated in an unsafe fashion. One moment of inattention or one poor snap decision can lead to the lives of multiple people being devastated.
This is one reason why the trucking industry is more tightly regulated. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the governmental body tasked with ensuring trucks operate within safety guidelines designed for the protection of everyone.
Some of the regulations enforced by the FMCSA include:
- Safety inspections. This includes regular inspections of trucks and their components and the keeping of detailed logs that establish when and where inspections occurred.
- Limits on driving time. Truckers falling asleep at the wheel even for a split second can be deadly. The government has introduced rules that require truckers take regular breaks after a certain number of hours behind the wheel, and keep logs of those breaks.
- Driver vetting. Trucking companies are required to perform background checks and testing to verify that truckers are competent to take the wheel. If drug or alcohol use is suspected, companies must take steps to intervene.
- Federal laws also prohibit trucking firms from pressuring their drivers to break any of the aforementioned rules, or operate unsafely in any way.
In addition to keeping people safe, these regulations may make it easier to prevail in a court of law if a driver or trucking company acts negligently.
How These Regulations Affect Litigation
In a standard car accident case, the injured party seeks to prove that the other party acted in a negligent manner. Generally, this means they did not exhibit the same standard of care that an average person would.
In truck cases, proving negligence is often more clear cut, because you must only show that a safety regulation was violated and that violation caused your injury. The presence of clear safety mandates, in other words, makes it easier to establish that a negligent action occurred.
That doesn’t mean that every truck accident injury case is easy to win. Trucking companies and their attorneys have deep knowledge of these regulations and will make every effort to shift liability, get you to settle for less or even weaken your case by failing to safeguard evidence.
By working with an experienced truck accident attorney, you can help ensure that your rights will be fully protected — and that you have the best chance possible to be fairly compensated for your losses.
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