Truck drivers and truck company owners operate under strict regulations governed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). By law, trucks must be maintained and operated in a manner that provides maximum safety for the driving public. There are many regulations regarding truck safety features including lights, brakes, weight limits and so forth. Inspection stations scattered across the highways require periodic inspections by law enforcement to ensure safety measures are being observed.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) oversees strict regulations that over-the-road motor carriers must comply with. Any violation of a regulation regarding truck operation, truck driver training, truck maintenance, or overweight or unsecured loads that results in injury or death of another driver or vehicle occupant on the road can mean the company’s insurer or the corporate entity may be held liable for significant monetary damages.
When a fully loaded 18-wheeler tractor-trailer loses control, the laws of physics take over and the tractor-trailer becomes an 80,000 pound projectile; and when it hits another vehicle, catastrophic injury and death are frequently the result.
Professional truck drivers are rigorously trained use extreme caution in inclement conditions and to react to situations and act appropriately. Drivers are required to keep a log of the hours they driver and are only permitted to drive so many hours per day.
Despite these regulations, drivers are sometimes inadequately trained or are being pushed by their employers to deliver products faster than possible. The result is drivers who are too fatigued to properly react to situations as they arise. Other problems include substance abuse (particularly stimulants), improper inspection and maintenance, which can lead to tire and brake failure, and falsified driving logs. These failings can result in serious injuries or death to an innocent driver on the road in the path of an oncoming 18 wheeler.
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