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The trucking industry is a national business. Large commercial trucks like semi tractor trailers, tandem trailers, tractor trailers, tankers, flatbeds, and other box trucks haul cargo from coast-to-coast, southern border to norther border, and everywhere in between. Given the number of states that most commercial trucks go through, and therefor the number of different laws and legal requirements governing trucking, a federal agency has taken over to set minimum standards applicable throughout the United States.
This agency is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA. The FMCSA has enacted several regulations which are applicable to a variety of commercial truck conduct on and off the roads. These regulations apply in a New Mexico big rig wreck and can allow a victim to recover compensation.
Examples of some types of trucking crashes that the FMCSA regulations govern include the following:
Under FMCSA regulations for hours of service, commercial vehicle operators (truck drivers) may only be “in service” for a maximum of 14 hours a day. During these service hours, a truck driver may only drive for 11 hours a day. This means the remaining three hours must be taken off for a break. The reason for this rule is to prevent fatigued driver which can lower a truck driver’s reaction time and possibly cause him or her to fall asleep. If a truck driver violates this rule, it could result in a serious New Mexico big rig wreck.
FMCSA regulations also govern drug or alcohol use. Understandably, use of either is prohibited on service (within that 14 hour window) and even for a certain amount of time pre-service. Any amount of drugs is a violation, whereas .04 BAC is an alcohol failed test. While it may seem farfetched, many truck drivers will use narcotics such as cocaine or speed to stay awake and alert to help them drive longer and stay awake longer. This can reduce judgment and reaction time, and result in very serious trucking crashes.
The FMCSA regulations also provide rules for monitoring and the upkeep of truck maintenance. These impose requirements of checking the treads of tires, inspecting cargo, ensuring brakes are in working order, and other maintenance checks. After all, when a truck’s equipment fails it cannot be blamed on the victim who is not in control.
In addition to New Mexico’s common law and statutory law, victims of serious New Mexico big rig wrecks also have FMCSA regulations to help them prove their case. 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.