Federal Trucking Regulations in Fort Worth
Truck drivers who operate commercial motor vehicles are subject to a heightened duty of care as compared to regular drivers of passenger vehicles. These drivers also are subject to a broad range of federal trucking regulations in Fort Worth. You may have a claim against multiple parties seeking compensation for your losses if you are involved in a semi-truck accident caused by negligence.
The results of a catastrophic trucking accident can be severe for the occupants of other vehicles. The size of commercial vehicles often dwarfs those of passenger vehicles, which can lead to devastating injuries. An experienced truck accident attorney could help you investigate your claims and pursue compensation for damages.
FMCSA Regulations and the Trucking Industry
Various federal rules and regulations govern the commercial trucking industry. These laws place a much higher responsibility on commercial truck drivers than on drivers of personal passenger vehicles. As a result, truck drivers can face liability for any accidents and injuries that may occur if truck drivers fail to follow Fort Worth federal trucking regulations.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safe Administration (FMCSA) issues and enforces various regulations related to all aspects of commercial trucking. These regulations cover such issues as:
- Licensing to operate a commercial motor vehicle
- Physical fitness
- Specialized training
- Hours of service and logging requirements
Additionally, truck drivers are subject to heightened standards for drug and alcohol consumption while driving. Various other rules also apply, such as required truck markings. Violation of any of these rules can constitute negligence if it results in injuries to others.
Truck Driver Training and Licensing Requirements
Truck drivers must generally obtain a specific license to operate commercial vehicles. Each state has particular requirements and skills that drivers must meet to qualify for this license. These drivers must undergo hands-on training with a qualified instructor for a specific number of hours to be eligible for these specialized licenses.
Likewise, truck drivers must undergo a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical examination every two years to maintain their commercial drivers’ licenses. They receive a variety of screenings during this examination, including high blood pressure, cardiac issues, sleep apnea, and vision.
Furthermore, truck drivers are prohibited from ingesting any alcohol or other substances within eight hours of their driving shifts. They cannot report to work with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .02 percent or less. Fort Worth trucking regulations under federal law also prohibit truck drivers from transporting any alcohol in their trucks, unless they are carrying it as cargo.
Federal Trucking Hours of Service Requirements
One of the most stringent FMCSA regulations regarding the commercial trucking industry concerns hours of service. These rules are meant to combat driver fatigue, which can contribute to truck accidents. Generally, truck drivers are limited to 11 hours of continuous driving after being off-duty for ten hours consecutively. The total workday limit for truck drivers is 14 hours.
Trucks now must have an electronic logging system that synchronizes with the engines of their vehicles. This system helps ensure the accuracy of the hours of service that each driver logs. If an accident occurs, hours of service is often a valuable tool to determine whether drivers were potentially overworking or overly fatigued at the time of their accidents.
However, individuals should keep in mind that the FMCSA has temporarily suspended the hours of service regulations concerning some goods and services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, these regulations are suspended for medical supplies and equipment, safety supplies, emergency food restocking, as well as other necessary persons related to medical or emergency services. As of this writing, FMCSA has extended this temporary suspension until July 14, 2020.
Does The Mandatory Liability Coverage Change Depending Upon The Freight Being Hazardous Or Non-Hazardous?
For non-hazardous, most truckers are required to have a minimum liability policy of $750,000. Frequently, there are limits of $2,000,000 or $5,000,000 on liability coverage, but some commodities that are considered hazardous require a $1,000,000 minimum liability coverage policy.
Fort Worth Federal Trucking Regulations and Personal Injury Claims
Trucking accidents often result in significant injuries and even fatalities to the drivers and occupants of other vehicles on state roadways. When truck drivers and trucking companies cut corners on complying with federal trucking regulations in Fort Worth, they can face liability for any resulting accidents and injuries. As a result, if you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a trucking accident, you may want to consult legal counsel for your options.
By recognizing the role that FMCSA regulations can play in commercial trucking accidents, you can explore the expanded forms of legal recourse that may be available to you. Depending on your situation, you may be able to obtain compensation related to the losses that you have sustained as a result of a truck driver or trucking company negligence.