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Truck Accidents: What are the Causes?

While all motor vehicle accidents can cause harm, few types of collisions are as devastating as those involving large commercial trucks. Trucking accidents can leave you enduring catastrophic and permanent injuries with which you must learn to live.

Unfortunately, many trucking accidents result from acts of negligence—violations of the federal regulations in place to keep truckers and others on the road safe. You should recognize the various regulations that exist within the industry and what happens if you suffer injuries in a truck accident.

Our San Antonio truck accident lawyer understands how violations of the regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration can lead to devastating collisions. We can also work to determine who is at fault and responsible for the damages you sustain.

Regulations within the trucking industry include:

Below, we’ll discuss what each regulation is and how a company, driver, or another party may violate them and cause a crash.

If you need a free consultation to discuss a potential case, call us at (210) 899-5440 today.

Hours of Service

The FMCSA limits the total number of hours a person can work and drive in the trucking industry. Typically, the overall limit is 14 hours working after a 10-hour rest period. However, the driver can drive for no more than 11 of those hours.

The Hours of Service regulations aim to prevent someone from driving while tired. If the driver clocks in at 8:00 a.m. and spends five hours at the warehouse, he or she can drive no longer than nine hours after that. This shift meets the total Hours of Service.

The driver cannot push his or her driving hours to the 11-hour limit because it would result in him or her working a total of 16 hours.

Other regulations exist detailing how long the driver must take a break and how many total hours he or she can work in a week. Working too long can cause drivers to operate their truck tired, resulting in swerving, speeding, or otherwise losing control and causing a crash.

Federal Weight Limits

The FMCSA limits the combined maximum weight of the truck, trailer, and cargo within the container. No truck, regardless of the number of axles, can exceed 80,000 lbs. There are lower weight limits for trucks with a fewer number of axles.

Trucks must not exceed these weight limits as the excessive weight can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle.

Federal regulations also dictate how employees must load the trailer. Weight distribution should be even to prevent potential rollover accidents on sharp turns or in windy conditions. The uneven load can pull the entire truck to one side on a sharp turn.

Maintenance Requirements

Truck owners—whether the company or driver—must ensure they perform proper and regular maintenance on their trucks. Typically, the completion of maintenance occurs before the truck leaves the warehouse.

Maintenance should include the following routines:

  • Checking, repairing, or replacing worn brakes
  • Checking, repairing, or replacing broken steering systems
  • Checking, repairing, or replacing tires
  • Checking, repairing, or replacing tow hitch

Of course, the driver or company should inspect many aspects of the truck. When they fail to maintain the vehicle and cause a crash because of it, they are responsible for all damages. These accidents are preventable if the responsible parties perform maintenance.

At the Chris Mayo Law Firm, we work hard to protect your rights when it’s time to file a lawsuit against a large corporation. Our San Antonio truck accident attorney will be by your side every step of the way, working to obtain the justice and compensation you need after such a devastating event.

Let us be your voice against negligence. For a free consultation regarding your potential case, give us a call today at (210) 899-5440 and speak with a legal professional about your options.