Iowa Truck Accident Crash Attorney — Federal Trucking Laws
Our truck accident attorney knows the laws regarding the operation of large trucks in the United States. In order to ensure the safety of our roadways, federal mandates require trucking companies to adhere to certain standards with regards to their drivers, hours of service, and other issues.
Hours of Service
Fredd J. Haas, an Iowa area truck accident attorney, knows that some of the most catastrophic trucking accidents are caused by drivers who have become fatiguedfrom exceeding the limit of hours they can work in a given day. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, has implemented mandatory hours of service regulations in order to prevent truck drivers from falling asleep at the wheel. A commercial truck driver is not allowed to drive the vehicle after he or she has worked a certain number of hours in a day, and there are also strict regulations on rest periods and the number of hours a driver can work in a consecutive seven-day period. In most cases, motor carriers are forbidden to require or allow a driver to be on duty after 60 hours of work within seven consecutive days. Trucking companies and drivers who violate the hours of service requirements can be held financially liable for accidents caused by a driver dozing off while on the road.
All commercial truck drivers must carry a driver’s log stipulating the hours of service they have worked in order to document compliance with the federal provisions. Companies are required to keep these logs for six months.
Controlled Substances/Alcohol Use and Testing
With few exceptions, drivers for major trucking companies in the United States are required to undergo mandatory drug and alcohol screening prior to employment. They may also be given random drug and alcohol tests; drivers who refuse to be tested can be disciplined as if they tested positive. Drivers are to be prevented from operating the vehicle if they test positive for drugs or alcohol before or during operation, or after a truck accident.
Victims of truck accidents are somewhat protected from truck owners who cannot afford to pay financial damages out of their own pockets. Federal laws require the operators of commercial vehicles to carry a certain level of insurance coverage. The amounts required depend on the nature of the material the vehicles are hauling.
Contact our law office, to speak with our skilled truck accident crash attorney.
Drivers of commercial vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds, as well as drivers carrying more than 15 passengers or transporting hazardous materials, are required by law to have a special driver’s license. A commercial driver’s license is designed to ensure that the operator of a large truck has been adequately trained and tested to drive the vehicle safely.
The Commercial Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program is a federal program that makes it mandatory for individual states to develop and maintain systems for improvingcommercial vehicle, motor carrier, and driver safety. The program also requires states to work in tandem with each other to establish an overall safer transportation system.
Commercial vehicle drivers are also legally required to:
- Obey existing traffic laws
- Inspect all mechanical systems of the vehicle, including brakes, tires, and mirrors, to ensure they are in proper working order
- Load cargo safely
- Keep schedules that conform with speed limits
- Activate hazard lights and other warning devices within 10 minutes of stopping on any part of the highway
Fredd J. Haas is a skilled truck accident crash litigator who has handled many cases of serious collisions involving commercial vehicles. Fredd J. Haas understands the federal and state laws regarding the safe operation of these vehicles, and can help you pursue financial compensation if you or a loved one has suffered the consequences of these horrific accidents. Contact our truck accident attorney today for a review your case.