Lafayette Truck Safety Regulations Attorney
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), along with individual state commercial carrier laws, specifies the safety regulations all commercial vehicles must follow in order to operate within the state and between states. When these safety regulations are either ignored or loosely enforced by commercial shipping companies and their affiliates, they run the risk of causing serious motor vehicle accidents.
The Lafayette personal injury firm of Chris Villemarette, Trial Lawyer, has extensive experience representing those injured in catastrophic 18-wheeler accidents throughout Louisiana. We will take the appropriate steps to verify whether truck safety rules were followed in building a strong case on behalf of our clients.
Understanding Truck Safety Regulations
Both interstate and intrastate commercial trucking companies must comply with state and federal regulations. The following represents a general overview of the requirements companies and their drivers must follow in order to meet safety guidelines:
- Truck driver requirements: All commercial truck drivers must carry a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL) and complete training specific to the type of vehicle they drive. Each driver must keep an up-to-date copy of medical reports indicating he or she is physically capable of driving a big rig in the truck cab at all times. Drivers must also refrain from texting while driving and doing other things that would distract their attention from the road.
- Driving requirements: Truck drivers must maintain accurate logbooks detailing the number of hours and miles they drive. Under federal regulations, drivers cannot exceed 10 consecutive hours following eight consecutive hours off-duty or 14 hours following 10 hours off-duty.
- Truck insurance requirements: In general, interstate trucks must carry a minimum of $1 million in insurance coverage. Those operating within Louisiana must carry a minimum of $100,000, though more insurance is required for heavier vehicles.
- Vehicle requirements: Each vehicle must have specific safety features such as proper brake lighting and reflector tape, mirrors and vision aides to minimize blind spots, underride protection bars, warning stickers in appropriate places, the appropriate number of tires and mud flaps, emergency equipment, and proper restraint systems to prevent cargo from falling, among others.
- Inspection requirements: Vehicles must undergo regular maintenance inspections and keep accurate logs of maintenance. Drivers of heavier vehicles may also be required to perform routine inspections of the vehicle at the start of each drive.
- Cargo requirements: Weight restrictions determined by the size of the truck can prevent braking failures and other issues that may cause serious accidents. Drivers and loading crews must take precautions to ensure the truck is not overloaded. Certain regulations also govern the transport of dangerous chemicals or substances.
As your lawyer, Mr. Villemarette will personally conduct your truck accident investigation. Where these requirements were not followed, he will aggressively seek to hold liable parties financially accountable for your injuries and losses.