The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations

In 1999, the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 established the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) as part of the United States Department of Transportation.  The FMCSA was established in order to improve safety in the trucking industry in order to try to prevent truck accidents and the resulting injuries or fatalities.  In order to achieve its goals, the FMCSA set forth the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, or FMCSRs, and continues to enforce those regulations.  The FMCSRs apply to all drivers and owners of commercial vehicles that operate in interstate commerce and carry passengers or property.  The FMCSA has the power to investigate possible violates of the regulations and can institute penalties for noncompliant trucking companies, owners, or drivers.  If a driver or owner violates the laws and causes you injury, that driver will likely be presumed to be negligent and will have to compensate you for your injuries and related losses.  If you have been in a truck accident, call an experienced Fayette County truck accident attorney as soon as possible for a free consultation.

Because violations of the FMCSRs can indicate negligence and help you win your case, it is important to have representation by an attorney who is familiar with the FMCSRs.  Some major topics governed by the FMCSRs include:

  • Driver qualifications: Commercial drivers have different licensing requirements than regular drivers of passenger vehicles.  A person seeking a commercial driver’s license (CDL) must learn different skills, take a special road test, and be physically cleared by a doctor to drive a truck.
  • Hours of service:  These laws control the maximum amount of hours a truck driver may work per shift and per week and the required rest time for a truck driver.
  • Alcohol and Drug testing:  The FMCSRs require that truck companies perform a certain amount of random drug and alcohol testing on drivers.  Drivers will lose their CDL temporarily or permanently if they test positive before, during, or after a shift.

These are only a few of the extensive regulations set forth in the FMCSRs.  A truck accident lawyer will have the knowledge to know violations of law and use them to help you win your case.  Call Shane Smith Law today at (980) 246-2656.