Trucking Regulations in Northern Virginia
The Trucking Industry Is Tightly Regulated
Under Virginia state law as well as federal transportation law, a semi-truck can legally weigh up to 80,000 pounds, a figure which equates to roughly 40 times more than an average passenger automobile. Such massive vehicles can cause absolute devastation in a collision. The damage can be even worse when the truck is transporting hazardous or combustible material. In light of the enormous dangers involved in piloting an 18-wheeler down the road or highway, the state and federal governments impose strict regulations on the trucking industry. These regulations are intended to cut down on the number of people who are seriously injured or killed in
truck accidents in Northern Virginia and nationwide.
Trucking Regulations for Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax
At the state level, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles provides a long list of the different regulations that apply to trucks ranging from two-axle trucks up to semi-trucks towing twin trailers. These include rules concerning which roads are permitted for travel based on a truck's length, width and height, as well as the truck's weight and the specific nature of its load. There are also detailed regulations on the topic of equipment including the brakes, windshield, mirrors, horn, windshield wipers and other things.
Federal Trucking Regulations
The federal trucking regulations are enacted and enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Regulations provided by the FMCSA cover a wide variety of topics including cargo securement, alcohol and drug testing of drivers, routine inspections and equipment maintenance. Interstate truck drivers are prohibited under federal law from texting or using handheld mobile phones while operating their vehicles, and can be fined up to $2,750 for a violation. One of the most important aspects of the federal trucking regulations is the hours of service (HOS) regulations. The HOS regulations are aimed at curbing the rates of truck driver fatigue by restricting the amount of time that a trucker can stay behind the wheel before stopping to rest.
Northern Virginia Truck Accident Attorney
If they are followed, the state and federal trucking regulations can go a long way toward preventing accidents. In practice, unfortunately, many of the regulations are only partly applied or are even flaunted outright. In some cases, the drivers and trucking companies cut corners, while in other situations they simply made mistakes. When you bring your case to Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. for help, we will be ready to conduct an exhaustive investigation of the accident to determine whether the driver or trucking company was guilty of any type of violation that may have caused or contributed to your accident. By exposing such violations, we may not only be able to help you recover financial compensation for your accident but also hold the wrongdoers accountable for their negligence and failure to follow the rules. Contact us now to get the process started with the help of a Northern Virginia truck accident lawyer from our team.