Truck-related Federal Laws: Mandates Trucking Firms Should not Fail to Comply With

Due to the enormous size of freight trucks, also called big rigs or 18-wheelers, the government passed federal laws which everyone in the trucking industry, from owners to all truck-related workers, should strictly observe. These laws address different issues, such as proper truck maintenance, hiring and training of qualified drivers and other workers, and maximum number of hours of service.

There are thousands of big rigs, tractor trailers and semi-trucks that are driven on US roads and highways every day, making it quite impossible for anyone not to share the road with a few of these whenever he or she drives.

Because of the many accidents reported to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Highway Loss Data Institute and the US Department of Transportation and the large number of lawsuits (both) involving trucks, it is common for drivers of smaller vehicles to feel uncomfortable and threatened driving alongside these huge vehicles. A valid emotion, considering the fact that close to half a million accidents involving trucks occur every year – accidents that injure about 130,000 drivers and other vehicle occupants, and which cause the untimely death of more than 5,000 others.

It is very common for trucks to be driven for thousands of miles at a time, an activity that results to two major concerns: fatigued and sleepy drivers, and essential truck parts (like the brakes and tires) that are subjected to greater wear and tear. These situations make it a must for trucking companies to: regularly check their vehicles to make sure that these will never be threats on the road as soon as these leave the (truck) depot; and, never require their drivers to drive more than the maximum 11 hours of service. These requirements are mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the US Department of Transportation agency that is tasked to ensure that crashes, injuries and deaths due to large trucks (and buses) are reduced.

Despite the FMCSA mandates, many trucking companies still remain negligent in their duty of making sure that their trucks are properly maintained. This negligence often leads to brake system failure and/or tire failure which, in turn cause tragic road accidents.

To many an Oklahoma personal injury lawyer, negligence is synonymous with potential dangers. In any type of profession, if there is someone negligent in his or her duties, then another, more likely than not, is bound to get hurt. Even courts see negligence as the common cause of all personal injuries and, since negligence can easily be dispelled by simple diligence, then personal injuries are always preventable occurrences.

Trucking firms are guilty of grave negligence whenever these, intentionally or unintentionally, fail to comply with federal laws aimed at keeping trucks from getting involved in tragic road accidents. This is why these are legally required by courts to compensate anyone who gets injured because of their irresponsible acts.

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