Trucking is one of the most regulated industries in the United States. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict rules in place governing everything from the number of hours a truck driver can be on the road to the size and weight of the vehicles themselves.
Despite these regulations, however, truck accidents still occur daily. In fact, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were over 4,000 large truck accidents in the U.S. in 2017 alone. So what explains this seemingly contradictory situation?
Several factors contribute to truck accidents, even when all of the rules are followed. First of all, trucks are much larger and heavier than passenger vehicles, which can make them difficult to control, especially in emergencies. Secondly, trucks have blind spots in both the front and rear, which can make it hard for truck drivers to see the other vehicles around them.
Finally, many truck drivers are paid by the mile, which can create an incentive to drive faster or for longer hours than is safe. When all of these factors come into play, it's not surprising that truck accidents still occur regularly.
Hours of Service Regulations and Violations
The Hours-of-Service Regulations are designed to ensure that truck drivers have sufficient rest between driving shifts. The Regulations limit the maximum number of hours that a driver can operate a commercial motor vehicle, and they also mandate minimum rest periods.
Violations of the Hours-of-Service Regulations can result in significant penalties, including fines and suspension of driving privileges. In extreme cases, particularly when an accident occurs, a driver may even face criminal charges. As a result, it is crucial for all truck drivers to familiarize themselves with the Hours-of-Service Regulations and to make sure that they comply with the rules at all times.
Commercial Truck Weight Restrictions and Violations
Commercial trucks are subject to weight restrictions to protect the safety of both the driver and other motorists. These restrictions are typically based on the axle weight, which is the total weight of all the axles on the truck. When a truck exceeds the maximum axle weight, it is said to be “overweight.” Overweight trucks can pose a serious safety risk, as they are more likely to experience brake failure or become involved in an accident. In addition, overweight trucks damage the roads and bridges they travel on, leading to costly repairs. As a result, trucking companies that violate weight restrictions can face significant fines. In some cases, their drivers may also be subject to criminal penalties.
Maintenance Issues in the Trucking Industry
The trucking industry plays a vital role in the economy, transporting goods and materials across the country. However, the commercial trucking industry is not without its challenges. One of the biggest issues facing trucking companies is maintenance. Trucks are expensive to maintain and repair, and the cost of downtime can be significant.
As a result, trucking companies must carefully manage their maintenance budgets and schedules. They also need to have a robust system in place for tracking maintenance records and keeping track of repairs. By staying on top of maintenance issues, trucking companies can help ensure that their trucks are reliable and safe and that they can keep them on the road for years to come.