The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and New York Trucking Regulations

As attorneys for the victims of commercial truck driving accidents, we are familiar with the Federal and other regulations that govern commercial truck driving activity.

Commercial truck operators and trucking companies are subject to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations[1] which concerning equipment, inspection, and operation of commercial trucking activities. [2] 

Federal safety regulations have been adopted to with respect to the following:

  • Prevention of Driver fatigue.  Driver fatigue is common; federal regulations  known as the “hours of service” rules prescribe limitations on the number of hours drivers can driver over certain time periods.
  • Prohibition on alcohol consumption and the use of “pep” pills in the hours immediately preceding driving.
  • Requirements to make safety checks of loads.  Drivers must not only check and document safety inspections prior to driving a new load, they must also check and document the inspection of the load at other intervals.
  • Safety inspections of trucks and truck maintenance.  Trucking companies must adopt and implement an inspection and maintenance program to ensure that trucks are safe.

These are only some of the federal rules and regulations; there are many others that also concern trucking safety that must also be carefully followed.

It is Critical That Commercial Drivers and Truck Companies Do Everything Possible to Make Driving Safe

Unfortunately, some commercial drivers intentionally violate hours of service rules in order to make more money. Trucking companies sometimes ignore or delay maintenance in order to reduce costs. They may also turn a blind eye when their drivers fail to comply with federal regulations.

This is wrong.

When truck drivers and their companies violate safety rules and regulations, they deserve to be held fully accountable for the damages, injuries, and death that results. In some cases, an award of punitive damages may be applicable. Punitive damages are designed to punish wrongdoers (including truck drivers and trucking companies) when they put others at great danger by choosing to intentionally violate rules and regulations or when they engage in other reckless conduct. If we believe that punitive damages are applicable, we will do everything possible to present evidence of the reckless conduct of truck drivers and companies to a jury so that the jury can determine whether punitive damages should be assessed.

It’s Important to Preserve Evidence – Please Call Us Today

As with all accidents, it’s important to preserve evidence of the accident as soon as possible, before it can be lost, altered, destroyed, or changed. Accident scenes will change as repairs are made and as the weather changes. Vehicles should be preserved in order to assist in the accident reconstruction phase. Vehicle black boxes should be preserved so that important information about the accident can be obtained. Driver logs and other information concerning vehicle inspections and maintenance records should be obtained before the same can be altered.

If you have been in a commercial trucking accident, or if a loved one has been killed in a commercial trucking accident, please call us as soon as possible so that we can learn about your case.  As we represent accident victims and their families on a contingency fee basis in most injury and wrongful death cases, there is no fee to us unless we are successful in obtaining a verdict or settlement on your behalf.

We offer a free, no-obligation consultation, where we can advise you as to our honest opinion of your case once we understand the facts concerning your case.

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[1] //www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-of-service

[2] N.Y. Trans. Law § 138.

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