Federal Trucking Regulations

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Logo

Due to the excessive size and weight of most commercial trucks, injuries sustained in truck accidents are often catastrophic in nature. In order to reduce the risk of these serious accidents and improve safety for other drivers on the road, the federal government has established a series of regulations governing the trucking industry. These laws cover a wide range of issues, including hours of operation, maximum vehicle weight, and safety standards.

Mickey Fine has more than two decades of experience helping truck accident victims in the Bakersfield area. He knows all of the federal and state laws that govern these complex cases, and he can make sure your rights are protected every step of the way.

The best way to learn about your options after being injured in a truck accident is to speak with Mr. Fine in person. Please call (661) 333-3333 today to schedule your free truck accident consultation.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Trucking Regulations

The trucking regulations established by the FMCSA are intended to improve the safety of everyone sharing the road. These policies apply to everyone working in the trucking industry, including truck drivers, trucking companies and truck manufacturers. Failure to adhere to these regulations may result in the negligent party being held liable for injuries caused in a truck accident.

According to FMCSA regulations, truck drivers must:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Speak fluent English
  • Have a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL)
  • Pass a physical exam every two years
  • Avoid using drugs or alcohol during their shift, including any prescription medication that may impact the driver’s ability to operate a truck

Federal trucking regulations require trucking companies to:

  • Verify driving records and check references of all truck drivers before they are hired
  • Monitor all drivers’ records on an annual basis
  • Perform routine mechanical inspections of all trucks and make any necessary repairs prior to sending the vehicle out on a trip
  • Maintain accurate vehicle inspection and repair records

In addition, FMCSA regulations prohibit trucks from carrying more than 20,000 pounds of cargo per axle, and the gross vehicle weight (GVW) of the truck cannot exceed 80,000 pounds.

Federal Regulations Governing Hours of Operation

In order to reduce the number of truck accidents caused by driver fatigue, the FMCSA has established a series of hours of service regulations:

  • The maximum duration of a driver’s shift is 14 hours, and the driver can’t exceed 11 hours of driving time during that shift
  • Drivers must take at least one 30 minute beak within the first 8 hours of their shift
  • Drivers must have at least 10 hours off before starting their next shift
  • The maximum allowable work week for a truck driver is 70 hours in an 8 day period or 60 hours in a 7 day period
  • Once a driver reaches the maximum allowable hour total for a work week, he must take at least 34 hours off before the next shift
  • Drivers must keep an accurate log of the hours they spend at work, including the number of hours spent driving

If these hours of service regulations are violated and the driver causes a truck accident, he may be held liable for damages.

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident caused by the negligence of another, please contact the Law Offices of Mickey Fine today to schedule your free consultation. Mr. Fine serves clients in Bakersfield, California.

Truck Accident
by Mickey Fine Law
Last updated on - Originally published on