Commercial trucks cross state borders every day, which is why there are federal regulations that apply to the industry. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for drivers and their employers to ignore some of these rules, raising the risk of a deadly crash. An experienced truck accident attorney could speak to a victim about how trucking industry regulations in Florence affect your claim or lawsuit for damages.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the regulatory body that has developed the federal law that all truckers must comply with. The FMCSA sets a minimum threshold for truck companies, but some of the standards in the industry are higher than the minimum threshold and will exceed the FMCSA standards. That is typically done on a company-by-company basis.
There are many companies, particularly smaller companies, that do not have the resources to comply with some of these federal rules and regulations. As a result, these companies are becoming frequent violators of the FMCSA minimum standards.
The Purpose of the FMCSA
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was established within the Department of Transportation in 2000. Its primary purpose is to prevent crashes and injuries stemming from commercial motor vehicles. This agency achieves it goals by:
- Enforcing their safety regulations
- Targeting high-risk carriers and truck drivers
- Improving safety technologies and information systems
- Strengthening the operation standards and equipment of commercial vehicles
- Promoting safety
The FMCSA works with all levels of law enforcement and government agencies to accomplish these goals. They are also in constant communication with the commercial trucking industry, labor groups, and safety advocates. An experienced truck accident lawyer in Florence will have vast knowledge of industry regulations.
Examples of Trucking Regulations
49 Code of Federal Regulations § 392.14 talks about driving in adverse weather conditions and states that a commercial motor vehicle driver who is driving in rain, snow, fog, sleet, or ice must use “extreme caution.” This is a high standard of care to meet.
The other rule that companies frequently violate are hours of service violations, which refers to the maximum amount of time drivers are permitted to be on duty, including driving time. It specifies the number and length of rest periods to help ensure that drivers stay awake and alert. In general, all carriers and drivers of commercial trucking vehicles in Florence must comply with the hours-of-service regulations found in 49 CFR § 395.
Trucking Company’s Role in Following Regulations
If a motor carrier fails to comply with the FMCSA and they get caught, they can be hit with a civil penalty, like a fine. If they have multiple infractions or multiple repeat violations, they can lose their U.S. DOT (Department of Transportation) number and be shut down. While it is rare to have a company shut down, it is not unusual for the FMCSA to conduct audits and impose fines.
The minimum amount of insurance is $750,000 for a commercial motor vehicle policy involving the transportation of non-hazardous materials. If they are transporting hazardous materials, then that minimum threshold is $1 million.
Learn More About the Trucking Industry Regulations in Florence by Speaking with an Attorney
A lot of companies prioritize profits over safety, leading to a culture of non-compliance. Skirting industry regulations in other areas could make it acceptable to them to ignore safety regulations on the road as well. Lawyers can attempt to look at the whole of a company’s practices to prove their negligence.
To learn more about trucking industry regulations in Florence, schedule a consultation with us at your earliest convenience.