18 Wheeler Truck Regulations

Houston Truck Driver Log Book and Drive Hours Lawyer

18 wheeler truck regulationsThe trucking industry is governed by a number of state and federal regulations. Under the aegis of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), trucking companies are responsible for the maintenance of their vehicles, training of their drivers, drug testing, and compliance with safety standards.

Given the pressures of competition and threat of cheaper labor under NAFTA, trucking companies have lobbied Congress to reduce regulations they believe interfere with their ability to deliver goods cheaper and faster. As a result, truck drivers are now allowed to drive more hours for longer periods of time. Additionally, changes in safety regulations pertaining to vehicle maintenance, the use of contract truck drivers, and multiple vendors means liability – and accountability – is often spread across different companies. At the law office of Stephen Boutros, we understand 18 wheeler regulations and the shortcuts trucking companies employ to cut costs.

If you have been seriously injured in a truck wreck or have lost a family member in an 18 wheeler accident, contact personal injury attorney Stephen Boutros today and schedule an appointment to discuss your case.

Changes in 18 Wheeler Regulations

In 1995, Congress attempted to introduce stricter rules governing the amount of time a truck driver could drive continuously without taking a rest. These recommendations were not adopted by the Federal Highway Administration, the agency in charge of truck safety at that time. In 1999, under the Clinton Administration, Congress created the FMCSA in the hopes that it would provide better oversight of the trucking industry than the trucking industry itself.

In 2000, the newly created FMCSA was successful in introducing stricter rules governing drive time. Additionally, in order to ensure drivers were accurately logging their hours, new electronic monitoring technology was introduced, making it more difficult to falsify driving logs. However, by April of 2003, these new rules were replaced with regulations INCREASING the amount of allowable driving hours. And, in a nod towards increasing deregulation, FMCSA halted its plans to install electronic monitoring technology to record a truck driver’s driving hours.

Truck Driver Training and 18 Wheeler Regulations

In 2004, FMCSA addressed the issue of driver training. Under new requirements, new drivers were expected to receive at least 10 hours of training. However, FMCSA did not stipulate that any of it required on-the-road training. Later, in response to what seemed like a rather lax set of training standards, an appeals court chastised the trucking industry for ignoring its own studies recommending the need for more extensive training. To date, however, FMCSA has not imposed new driver training requirements on the trucking industry.

Contact 18 Wheeler Truck Accident lawyer Stephen Boutros

The attempt on the part of the trucking industry to reduce 18 wheeler regulation is, in part, responsible for the increased risk posed by trucks on our nation’s highways. At the law office of Stephen Boutros, we understand how decreased regulation and trucking accidents are related.

If you’ve been injured in a trucking accident, contact the law office of Stephen Boutros today to learn how we can help you. We know what to look for, how to investigate the cause of truck accidents, and how to expose violations of 18 wheeler regulations.

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