This blog has previously discussed some of the factors that might be involved in truck accidents that occur in Nevada and elsewhere in the United States. Because of the necessity of transporting goods in a relatively fast and efficient manner, our society has decided that having trucks on the roads is worth the risk they can pose to other drivers, due to their size and limited handling characteristics. However, our government regulators do expect truck drivers and companies to abide by regulations that are meant to minimize this risk as much as possible.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the agency responsible for promulgating and enforcing rules that are supposed to keep trucks relatively safe while travelling on the country’s roads. The FMCSA publishes rules about many aspects of commercial vehicle operations, including safety equipment, maintenance schedules, and amounts of rest drivers must have.
Before getting into how these regulations work, however, one needs to consider to which types of vehicles they apply. Basically, to be regulated by the FMCSA Hours of Service regulations, a vehicle has to be involved in interstate commerce, and be a commercial vehicle by the agency’s definition. This definition includes vehicles that weigh over 10,000 pounds or are designed to carry nine or more passengers for pay, or 16 or more passengers for free, or transport some type of material that is considered ‘hazardous.’
Vehicles that meet the above definitions may be subject to the federal rules and regulations set out by the FMCSA. It should be remembered that states like Nevada may have their own rules and regulations that apply to trucks operating on state roadways. Even with these federal and state rules, however, commercial vehicles remain dangerous to other drivers due to their handling limitations and sheer size.
Truck accidents can have devastating consequences for, and cause serious injuries to, those involved. When a trucking company is not following the rules, those injured may have a claim against that entity for damages.