The trucking industry is heavily regulated at the federal and state levels. Some regulations protect the physical infrastructure of the highway systems and the environment. Others protect drivers who are sharing the roadways with larger, heavier trucks since truck-car collisions usually have worse outcomes for the smaller vehicle. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for enforcing these safety regulations.
In June, the FMCSA shut down a construction scrap trucking company based in Commerce City, Colorado. The agency ordered many of the trucks off the road in December 2012 due to serious safety violations. Six months later they checked back and found that these same trucks were still on the road without the necessary routine inspections and repairs. In addition, the company had failed to check whether their drivers had commercial licenses. The owners face penalties of $25,000 and possible criminal charges or jail time.
While the mission of the FMCSA is to decrease the incidence of deadly truck accidents, the main priority for most trucking companies is to move large quantities of goods as fast and cheaply as possible. Therefore, truck drivers are under pressure to exceed speed limits, truck loads may be too heavy, and mechanics and repair crews ignore problems that might put the truck out of commission for awhile. State and federal safety investigators and local traffic patrols need to be vigilant in enforcing the safety regulations at all levels of the industry.
Bringing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against a trucking company after an accident is another tactic to encourage this industry to take safety more seriously. Trucking accident lawsuits can be complex, but experienced personal injury attorneys have in-depth knowledge of state and federal regulations — and skill in conducting rigorous investigations of all the players that might be involved in the accident.