Do Truckers Have to Follow Federal and State Regulations?

Trucking accidents can be catastrophic. Big rigs are heavy, large vehicles and when they are in accidents with passenger vehicles, it is devastating. After an accident, you may be wondering if there are laws in place to avoid these situations. Could you have a case against the trucker? The answer to both of these questions is yes.

Why Truckers Need Regulations

Often, the regulations for truckers involve drive time. For instance, a trucker cannot drive more than 11 hours after being off duty for at least 10 hours. These types of regulations are supposed to help decrease drowsiness. If a trucker is drowsy on the road, he or she can wind up severely injuring others.

In the trucking industry, timing matters. Companies often push truckers to deliver cargo by a deadline. A lot of the time, these deadlines may not be reasonable. They may force a trucker to drive when he or she is tired or drowsy. This is extremely dangerous! To make it worse, a company may even offer incentives to truckers to drive for long periods without any sort of break in between. It is important for a trucker to remain as safe as possible on the road. This is why there are regulations in place.

The regulations are supposed to deter drivers from being reckless when on the road. It decreases drowsy driving and ensures that the trucker and the company takes safety into account while on the road.

Who Sets the Regulations

Truckers have two organizations that monitor and set the rules. There is one organization at the federal level and one organization that operates at the state level. The national organization is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This is a branch of the Department of Transportation. On the state level, truckers are regulated by the state department of transportation.

The regulations that they set down are for commercial motor vehicles. Any vehicle that is used as part of a business, involved with interstate trade and weighs more than 10,000 pounds may be considered a commercial motor vehicle. The regulations apply to these trucks.

When it comes to truckers, there are regulations for a reason. The regulations are supposed to keep roadways safe. After all, big rigs tend to be more dangerous. If you were in an accident with a trucker, it may have been due to the trucker’s negligence. Contact a Woodland Hills trucking accident lawyer right away to discuss your options and to find out if you have a case.


Thanks to Barry P. Goldberg for their insight into personal injury claims and federal regulations for truckers.