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I was hit by a commercial truck (18 wheeler or other), aren’t there lots of regulations they have to abide by?

Yes, there are…..and that is why it is important to immediately contact the experienced trial attorneys at ALTMAN LEGAL GROUP to discuss your case as many of these items need to be investigated ASAP.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act (FMCSA) regulates the trucking industry. These regulations also regulate bus operators as well.  See the regulations at:  http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations

Some of the regulations are:

QUALIFICATIONS OF DRIVERS

Every motor carrier is required to maintain a driver qualification file for each driver that it employs containing the following information:

  • Driver’s application for employment
  • Inquiry to previous employers – driving record for last 3 years
  • Annual inquiry and review of driving record
  • Annual driver’s certification of violations and annual review
  • Driver’s road test and certificate, or the equivalent to the rroad test
  • Medical examiner’s certificate
  • If granted, a waiver of physical disqualification for a person with a loss or impairment of limbs

DRIVING OF COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES

Drivers may not operate a commercial vehicle while ill or fatigued.
  • Drivers may not possess, be under the influence of, use drugs while operating a commercial vehicle.
  • Alcohol use by drivers is prohibited.
  • Motor carriers cannot schedule a run between two points which would necessitate drivers to operate vehicles at speeds higher than posted speed limits.

HOURS OF SERVICE FOR DRIVERS

For property carriers:

  • 11-Hour Driving Limit: May drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
  • 14-Hour Limit: May not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.
  • Rest Breaks: May drive only if 8 hours or less have passed since end of driver’s last off-duty or sleeper berth period of at least 30 minutes. Does not apply to drivers using either of the short-haul exceptions in 395.1(e).
  • 60/70-Hour Limit: May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty. Must include two periods from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. home terminal time, and may only be used once per week, or 168 hours, measured from the beginning of the previous restart.
  • Sleeper Berth Provision: Drivers using the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.

For Passenger Carriers:

  • 10-Hour Driving Limit: May drive a maximum of 10 hours after 8 consecutive hours off duty.
  • 15-Hour Driving Limit: May not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following 8 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour period.
  • 60/70-Hour Limit: May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
  • Sleeper Berth Provision: Drivers using a sleeper berth must take at least 8 hours in the sleeper berth, and may split the sleeper berth time into two periods provided neither is less than 2 hours.

INSPECTION, REPAIR and MAINTENANCE

Regular inspections, repairs, and maintenance of all commercial motor vehicles is required of all motor carriers. Motor carriers must maintain records of inspections, repairs, and maintenance. 

PARTS AND OTHER REQUIRED FIXTURES NECESSARY FOR SAFE OPERATION

The list of parts and required fixtures necessary for safe operation is extensive and varies depending on the type of vehicle being operated. Some of the parts required include: lighting devices and reflectors, lamps (headlights), brake systems, windshield, fuel systems, coupling devices, sleeper berths, rear end protection, seat belts, emergency equipment, and fire extinguishers.

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