Federal Trucking Regulations

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Federal Regulations

Due to the massive size of commercial trucks, accidents are usually catastrophic and often result in fatalities. Trucking accidents can be caused by any number of factors, some of which are entirely preventable. To protect the public and reduce the number of accidents, the federal government has established the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA develops and enforces safety regulations. When truck drivers and their employers fail to adhere to these safety regulations, they should be held accountable for accidents that occur as a result.

Some of the most notable FMCSA regulations include:

Commercial Driver License Requirements: All commercial truckers must demonstrate that they understand the rules and safety requirements by passing a written test. This test enables them to get their commercial driver’s license (CDL). In addition, drivers must have a Medical Examiner’s Certificate that assures that they meet all the physical and medical standards for safely operating a commercial truck. To hold this certificate, called a DOT card, a driver must also undergo routine drug and alcohol testing. Certain employers fail to comply with these regulations and allow drivers who have failed drug tests behind the wheel.

Prohibition Against Drug and Alcohol Use: In addition to requiring regular drug and alcohol testing, the FMCSA rules also require drivers to take drug and alcohol tests after they are involved in an accident.

Maintenance of Regular Records: Truck drivers and their employers are required to keep truthful records regarding how long they were on the road for a single trip, how long they slept, and how much weight they are carrying. These records can be very useful evidence in the event of a truck accident. Similar to how airplanes have “black boxes,” commercial trucks have a device on board that keeps track of certain information. Data from the “black box” can be cross-checked with the log if a falsification of records is suspected. An experienced truck accident lawyer can subpoena this evidence and documentation for your case.

Maximum Weight Load Restrictions: Overloading a truck can cause it to overturn or have a dangerous tire blowout. If you were involved in a crash with a truck, we can examine the records relating to when the truck was last weighed and whether the weight load restrictions were complied with.

Hours of Service: The FMCSA has set strict limits on how many hours a day truck drivers can work. Fatigued truck drivers have slower reaction times like that of intoxicated drivers. Fatigued drivers are also prone to dangerous micro sleep incidents; when a driver falls asleep behind the wheel for a split second. To ensure that drivers do not exceed the hours of service requirements, they are required to keep detailed records of when they slept, the duration of sleep, rest breaks, and off-duty hours.

Regular Maintenance and Inspection: If you are involved in a truck accident, an experienced lawyer can help you determine whether the driver, the trucking company, or both should be held accountable.  Trucking companies are legally required to keep their fleet in safe operating condition. They must keep detailed records of inspection, repairs, and maintenance for every vehicle in their fleet. Vehicles that are not fit to be driven should be taken off the road until they are properly serviced.

Hazardous Materials: There are special rules that apply to drivers who transport hazardous materials. All hazardous materials (“hazmats”) must be properly categorized, described, marked, packaged, and labeled.

Hazardous Waste: The Office of Hazardous Materials Safety (OHMS) develops safety regulations for transporting hazardous materials. If a trucker does not follow those guidelines and you are injured as a result, you should consult with an attorney to learn how to pursue a claim against the truck driver, their employer, and the company shipping the hazardous material.

Cell Phone Use: When the driver of an 80,000-pound truck takes his eyes off the road to dial a phone number, they are six times more likely to be involved in a collision. Truckers who text and drive are 23 times more likely to cause an accident. The FMCSA heavily regulates cell phone use by truck drivers.

New Jersey Truck Accident Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP Represent Victims of Trucking Accidents

If you have been injured in a trucking accident, contact an experienced New Jersey truck accident lawyer at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP today at 732-384-1331 or contact us online to arrange for a free consultation. With offices located in Edison, Toms River, and Red Bank, we fight for injured victims throughout New Jersey and have a proven track record of recovering all entitled compensation for those injured in trucking accidents.

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~ Client

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-22T00:29:45+00:00

~ Client

"The list is LONG of the wonderful things that I can say about Barry, Maria (his assistant) & the rest of the folks that I had the HONOR of spending time with during my case. I brought my case to another lawyer that told me that I have no case, yet Barry was not only able to WIN, but he WON a substantial amount! Lawyers have awful reputations, but Barry defies every single one of them! Barry Eichen genuinely CARES about his clients!! NOTHING was too much to ask for – there was no such thing as too many phone calls! Without a doubt, I was in the BEST HANDS with Barry as my attorney! I not only WON my lawsuit, but I also WON lifelong FRIENDS!"

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Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T17:42:12+00:00

~ Client

"I had a bad accident back in June of 2015. My dad knows Barry. I have to say he is a great person. I was unsatisfied with some things that were happening with a previous lawyer and he made sure everything was fixed and I was satisfied. My lawyer Edward McElroy is great he answers emails in a timely matter even on weekends. I know they probably used to get annoyed with me calling all the time Lol. But I was just curious to what is going on with my case. Nicole, Ed’s secretary is great. She always responds back to my emails in a timely matter as well and even checks up on things with me from time to time. Barry recently became my mother and cousins Lawyer do to a bad accident they were involved in as well. I would highly recommend this firm. Thanks guys 🙂"

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~ C.C.

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T17:44:24+00:00

~ C.C.

"The loss of my husband due to malpractice was and is devastating, Daryl took on our case and said, “Unfortunately I can’t bring your husband back but I can make sure that you will be ok financially,” and that is what he did , with compassion and dedication and always made feel like he had time for me, I never felt rushed or unimportant, I cannot say enough about how professional yet caring this office has treated me . Mr. Zaslow is truly the best at what he does and I can’t say enough about his secretary who not only kept me informed but listened to me during the most painful time of my life , all I can say is what a great team . Thank you Daryl for helping me . Thank you Heather for listening."

Daryl Zaslow went to bat for him

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~ Client

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T17:48:36+00:00

~ Client

"When, at age 44 my son suffered a massive Ischemic stroke, my greatest concern was how he would be able to live a normal life without the use of his speech and his arm. Daryl Zaslow went to bat for him and through his tireless efforts, his medical knowledge and his sincere concern for my son, Mr. Zaslow secured for my son a future not only without financial worries, but with hope and happiness. There are no words to express the thanks of our family to a great lawyer."

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Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T17:51:39+00:00

~ M.M.

"Very very pleased with the service and professionalism of this law firm. I really felt that my case was very important to them and went to every length to achieve the best outcome possible. Or attorney really went to bat for me and his staff was very professional and courteous. Highly recommended. Thank you again for a great outcome !!"

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Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T18:04:32+00:00

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Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T18:07:23+00:00

~ Client

"Mr. Eichen handled a motorcycle accident for me in 2002, as well as various other cases since that time. I have permanent injuries from that accident and he was able to resolve my case for the full policy limits and get me compensation as quickly as possible. I would highly recommend his firm."
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