We all know that speeding in a motor vehicle can increase the risk of an accident. This is not a new concept by any means. Yet, many people still speed. This includes truck drivers, for who time is money and the faster a delivery is made the faster the truck driver gets paid and can move to the next delivery. But when large commercial vehicles like 18 wheelers, big rigs, tractor trailers, semi tractors, and other large box trucks speed, it can result in catastrophic and fatal New Mexico truck crashes.
Here at the NM Truck Accident Attorneys, we know that both New Mexico law and the federal regulations adopted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) prohibit speeding and causing a truck driver to speed. That is because the obligation is not just on the truck driver to not speed, but also on the trucking company to not face a truck driver to speed or allow a delinquent truck driver to operate one of their box trucks. If you have been injured by a speeding truck driver, you may have rights under both state and federal law against the truck driver and the trucking company. Call (505) 883-5000 to learn what those rights may be by scheduling a FREE appointment with our legal team.
Under New Mexico law, section 66-7-301 imposes on all drivers of vehicles on public roads that “speed shall be so controlled by the driver as may be necessary (1) to avoid colliding with a person, vehicle or other conveyance on or entering into the roadway, and (2) to comply with the legal requirements [established by the law] and the duty of all persons to use due care; and (3) to protect workers in construction zones[.]”
When a driver is operating above the speed limit, cannot avoid colliding with a person or other vehicle, fails to use “due care” in the operation of his or her vehicle, or fails to safeguard workers in construction roads due to speed, the driver may be automatically negligence as a matter of law. This is because the violation of a statute which causes harm that the statute is meant to protect is called negligence per se, and it carries a strong presumption of liability. This is a great tool for victims of personal injury accidents to help recover compensation for their injuries.
While employers like trucking companies or motor carriers can be vicariously liable for the acts of their employees (meaning they are liable for all acts their employee commits within the scope of employment), employers may also be liable for violating the FMCSA on their own behave. Meaning that employers may be directly liable for violating regulations or statutes.
For instance, 49 CFR section 392.6 requires trucking companies to ensure not “schedule a run nor permit nor require the operation of any commercial motor vehicle between points in such period of time as would necessitate the commercial motor vehicle being operated at speeds greater than those” under the states’ law, like New Mexico speed law above. If the trucking company does do this, such as making a schedule that would require the truck driver to travel at 90 MPH to meet the time constraints, the trucking company could be liable to any victims in a speeding truck crash.
In addition, if a truck driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle due to speeding excessively of 15 MPH or more above the speed limit, a trucking company cannot allow the disqualified driving from operating one of its vehicles under 49 CFR section 383.51. This means the truck driver and the trucking company will get in trouble with this regulation, helping a victim use this to prove liability in a crash.
Moreover, a trucking company cannot coerce a truck driver from violating either state law of FMCSA regulations to make a delivery. This is also governed by the FMCSA, particularly in parts 386 and 390. Therefore, if a truck driver is threatened with his or her job if he or she does not drive above the speed limit, the trucking company can be liable if the truck driver is coerced to do so and causing a trucking wreck.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, call the experienced New Mexico trucking accident attorneys at the NM Truck Accident Attorneys today by dialing (505) 883-5000 You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.