To protect other motorists who share the roads with truck drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has enacted safety regulations that truck drivers and trucking companies must follow. These rules govern many aspects of the trucking industry, such as driver qualifications and training requirements, inspection and maintenance of trucks, how long a trucker can drive without taking a break, and preserving records. The FMCSA developed the Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) program to enforce the regulations and promote safety. Unfortunately, these rules are often violated, with the result being a devastating truck accident.
Common Truck CSA Violations
A number of CSA violations involve maintenance issues with the trucks. Many of these are easily preventable if the trucker and trucking company followed the rules requiring pre- and post-trip inspections and conducted proper maintenance on the truck. The three top violations include:
- Lights. Some of the most common violations involve broken or missing lights, reflectors, and reflector tape. When truck drivers cannot see other vehicles on the road or are less visible to other drivers, the likelihood of a wreck increases dramatically.
- Brakes. Another leading and extremely dangerous violation involves the brakes. When brakes are not adjusted properly or are not repaired and replaced when necessary, a brake failure can cause a catastrophic wreck. In some cases, trucking companies not only violate the FMCSA regulations, but also deliberately depower the brakes to save on repair and replacement costs.
- Tires. Tire tread and worn tires are major reasons that truckers are cited for violations during inspections. When truck tires are not properly maintained, it can lead to a tire blowout.
Common Driver CSA Violations
Other CSA violations involve the trucker’s duties and qualifications. Some of the top ways that truckers break the rules include:
- Logs. Logbook violations include the logs not being up-to-date, missing information, and not flagging the required 30-minute break requirement. In some cases, the log may not be accurate because the truck driving is not complying with the hours of service rules that help prevent drowsy driving accidents.
- Medical issues. Truck drivers are required to have a medical examination that certifies that they are physically able to drive a truck and to carry a medical card. When drivers fail to carry their medical cards—a common violation—it may be because they have a medical problem or are taking medications that disqualify them from safely driving.
- English proficiency. Drivers must be able to read and write English well enough so that they can fill out required paperwork, such as the log book, and answer questions.
Were you or a family member injured in a truck accident? These cases are more complex than car accident claims due to the many federal regulation violations that could have contributed to causing the crash. Our skilled truck accident attorneys have years of experience helping truck accident victims obtain the settlement that they deserved. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your legal options. To schedule yours, call our office today to schedule an appointment.