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The trucking industry is huge and spans through the United States. Companies such as FedEx, UPS, J.B. Hunt, and Swift Transportation are just a few of the largest companies that are basically household names. Because of the interstate nature of the trucking industry, there is a federal governmental agency which oversees trucking companies and truck drivers. That agency is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA.
In order to set a standard applicable to all truck drivers and trucking companies throughout the United States, the FMCSA has enacted regulations which apply no matter what state the truck driver is operating in or where the trucking company is located. These regulations governs almost anything that could be applicable to a truck driver or trucking company, including the amount of time a driver and operate a vehicle, the type of wheels and condition thereof, and other rules largely focused on safety. The main purpose is to avoid a big rig wrecks.
If a truck driver or trucking company violate these regulations, and that violation causes personal injuries to another person, it is likely that the violation will become evidence of negligence on the part of the truck driver and trucking company in any subsequent personal injury action. Thus, victims of a New Mexico big rig wreck may be entitled to compensation for their injuries.
There are many FMCSA regulations which could result in a safety violation if not properly complied with. Some of the most common safety violations include the following:
Hours of Service Violations – Fatigued or sleeping truck drivers is a major concern for trucking companies and can result in very serious personal injuries or wrongful death if the driver falls asleep at the wheel. The hours of service regulations set the maximum amount of time that a driver can operate a commercial vehicle without taking a break, and within a window of 24 hours. If a truck driver violates the hours of service violations and causes a New Mexico big rig wreck, he or she may be liable for the injuries.
Failure to Maintain a Truck in Good, Working Order – When a large commercial trucks brakes, steering wheel, tires, hitch/trailer, lights, or other devices fail to properly work, it could be due to a maintenance violation. Trucking companies and truck drivers are required to properly inspect their vehicles for defective conditions to prevent mechanical defects from causing accidents. If a mechanical defect does cause a trucking accident, it can result in liability.
Improperly Loaded Trucks – Not only does the FMCSA set forth specific loading regulations for trucks, but it also requires truck drivers to pull over and inspect cargo after they have driven on the roadway for a certain amount of time or distance to assess how the cargo has settled or shifted. If there is no evidence that a truck driver did this, or further that a trucking company failed to properly load and secure cargo, it can be a safety violation.
Failing to Properly Hire and Train Qualified Drivers – A trucking company cannot just hire any driver that he or she wants. It needs to ensure that the driver is properly licensed and able to safety operate the same kind of truck he or she will handle. If the trucking company does not do so, it can be negligence on the part of the trucking company. Even once a trucking company has hired the proper driver, it will still need to train and educate the driver at the start and periodically during employment.
Victims of a trucking crash hurt when a FMCSA rule has been violated may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. 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.