The trucking industry is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA’s regulations are the minimum standard that companies need to meet to comply with the law. Sometimes there are also separate standards set by individual trucking companies. If these companies’ rules exceed the minimum set by the FMCSA, they must still be upheld by their drivers.
The commercial truck industry regulations in Melbourne exist to keep truckers and the other motorists and pedestrians safe. When a violation of these rules occurs and causes a crash or other incident, the driver and the company they work for could be held liable for all resulting damages and loss. If you were involved in one of these incidents, reach out to our skilled truck accident attorneys today to begin reviewing your legal options.
One example of trucking industry regulations in Melbourne includes the requirement that all drivers do a pre-trip and a post-trip inspection. Getting behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer is much different than when an individual gets in their car to travel to the store. Their weight, size, and the long distances they cover make them much more dangerous than standard passenger vehicles, and accidents are often catastrophic and sometimes even fatal. Performing these inspections is critical to limiting the risk of a collision by ensuring that the truck has been maintained properly and is safe to travel on public roads.
The federal limit for weight on commercial vehicles is 80,000 pounds. This is gross vehicle weight which equals 20,000 pounds on a single axle and 34,000 pounds on a tandem axle group. Weight requirements exist so drivers can maintain proper control of their vehicles to limit the number of overloaded truck crashes that occur. In addition to checking the weight of a vehicle and its load prior to getting on the road, truckers must weigh in at designated stations throughout their journey.
Other requirements for Melbourne truck drivers include undergoing regular drug and alcohol testing at scheduled times, random intervals, and immediately following a serious accident. This testing is typically overseen by the Department of Transportation (DOT).
Truckers are also required to keep accurate driver’s logs that clearly display the number of hours they have driven on any given day. In addition, to combat collisions caused by fatigue, they are only permitted to drive for a certain number of hours at a time without a break. At a minimum, commercial truckers must take a 30-minute rest every 8 hours. They can also only work up to 60 hours over seven days or 70 hours spread over eight days with additional restrictions on their cumulative daily hours worked.
Per the FMCSA, the minimum insurance coverage required is at least $750,000. Most carry more significant amounts, and larger trucking companies have multiple levels of umbrella coverage far above this number. Additionally, if the freight they are transporting is considered hazardous, commercial vehicles must carry at least $5 million in insurance coverage.
The most common causes of commercial vehicle accidents stem from truck drivers failing to adhere to safety laws. Operating a semi-truck is much different from driving a car, and the truck industry regulations in Melbourne exist to help decrease the risk of deadly crashes.
At Norden Leacox Accident & Injury Law, our attorneys used to represent large trucking companies. It is because of this prior knowledge that we are better able to represent and protect the rights of individuals who have been injured due to negligent trucking practices. We are not afraid to stand up against these corporations and will work tenaciously on your behalf. Call today to schedule a consultation. You will owe nothing unless we successfully recover compensation for you.