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Fort Lauderdale Personal Injury Attorneys > Blog > Truck Accidents > What Happens When Trucking Companies Violate Federal Rules

What Happens When Trucking Companies Violate Federal Rules


In the U.S., the commercial trucking industry is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), an agency within the Department of Transportation. This agency’s oversight encompasses a wide range of topics, including safety standards, driver qualifications, vehicle inspections and maintenance, and hours of service. All of these rules were put in place to help promote a safer driving environment and to mitigate the risks of accidents with commercial trucks on U.S. roadways. Unfortunately, not all trucking companies comply with these rules, which puts other road users at serious risk of injury.

Rules and Regulations Overview 

The FMCSA’s rules cover a lot of different issues, including:

  • Hours of Service (HOS), which govern how long drivers are allowed to operate a commercial vehicle without taking a break and include limits on daily and weekly driving hours and rest periods;
  • Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs), which record a driver’s work hours and help track, manage, and share records of duty status, reducing the chances of a violation or obfuscation on the part of a trucking company;
  • Drug and alcohol testing, which is required at the pre-employment screening stage, after accidents, and at random times;
  • Driver qualifications, such as the possession of a valid Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and the proper endorsements (based on vehicle type);
  • Vehicle maintenance, which covers inspections, repairs, and maintenance to ensure that brakes, tires, and lights are free of mechanical defect;
  • Cargo securement and weight limits, which includes standards for securing cargo, so as to prevent accidents caused by shifting and falling and to keep trucks from exceeding their weight limits; and
  • Insurance requirements, which will vary based on the type of truck and the cargo being transported.

All of these rules were put in place to help protect not only truck drivers, but other road users as well. Failing to comply with them is extremely dangerous.

The Consequences of Violating FMCSA Rules 

All trucking companies in the U.S. are required to adhere to the FMCSA’s regulations and those who fail to do so face significant penalties, including:

  • Operational restrictions;
  • Fines and citations;
  • The suspension or revocation of operating authority; and
  • Legal liability.

Most importantly, non-compliance exposes road users to serious risks of injury or death if the violations result in an accident. In these cases, a trucking company would be held liable for the financial losses incurred by the accident victims as a result of the company’s violations.

Holding Trucking Companies Accountable 

Trucking companies violate FMCSA rules for a number of reasons, despite the risk that doing so poses to other road users. Most can be linked to financial pressures, deadline demands, operational strains, driver shortages, and lack of oversight. Whatever the cause, the results of such non-compliance tends to be devastating for other motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists. At Boone & Davis, our experienced Florida truck accident lawyers are well-versed in these regulations and how their violation affects thousands of accident victims in Florida every year. Call 954-566-9919 for an assessment of your own case today.




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