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FMCSA Trucking Rules & Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces federal trucking rules and regulations1. These regulations are meant to protect motorists and reduce accidents. Unfortunately, FMCSA violations can lead to catastrophic injury or death. If you believe an FMCSA violation caused your accident, speak with a Denver truck accident lawyer from Dormer Harpring. Our attorneys can help you determine whether a trucking violation led to your accident.

Federal Trucking Regulations

Federal trucking regulations pertain to everything from truck drivers and trucks to the companies that employ truckers. While some of these rules are very detailed, they all share some common goals. These goals include:

  • Reduce the risk of truck accidents
  • Prevent injuries
  • Save lives

When any commercial driver or motor carrier violates FMCSA trucking regulations, there’s a far greater risk that truck accidents will happen.

FMCSA Trucking Regulations for Commercial Drivers

Some of the federal trucking regulations the FMCSA enforces2 include rules about:

  • Driver qualifications. Truck drivers require special commercial licensing requirements. They must meet the standards for “medical fitness for duty” and undergo training.
  • Driver drug and alcohol testing. Testing is conducted during the hiring process. A driver is also tested after a crash, at-random and/or whenever there may be a reason to suspect impairment.
  • Drivers’ time behind the wheel. These rules are also known as hours-of-service (HOS) rules. They are aimed at preventing driver fatigue from causing crashes. Truckers must record their driving and on-duty time to prove compliance.
  • Drivers’ other responsibilities. Drivers must inspect and maintain their trucks. They must also follow state or federal trucking regulations and abide by general traffic laws.

FMCSA Trucking Regulations for Commercial Vehicles

FMCSA regulations also cover commercial vehicles. These rules promote stability and reduce the risk and impact of truck accidents:

  • Maximum weight levels. Federal regulations set the maximum weight levels for trucks at 80,000 pounds fully-loaded.
  • Required safety equipment. Trucks must have various safety features, including heavy-duty brakes, mirrors, and lighting systems.
  • Securing truck loads. FMCSA details how a truck should be loaded. This may also include how to balance loads and secure trailers to cabins.
  • Maintaining commercial vehicles. FMCSA requires vehicle inspections before longer hauls and between shifts. If anything is broken or worn down, it must be replaced.

FMCSA Trucking Regulations for Commercial Carriers

This set of FMCSA regulations explains the rules that trucking companies have to follow. They cover various complex issues, such as, but not limited to:

  • Hiring and training drivers
  • Maintaining trucks
  • Maintaining records
  • Transporting toxic, hazardous, and/or flammable substances

How Our Denver Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help After a Truck Accident

When a commercial driver or motor carrier violates FMCSA trucking regulations, a truck accident can happen. Truck accident cases can be complex because more than one party can be liable for the accident.

A Denver truck accident lawyer from our firm can help you understand whether a violation led to your truck accident. We can also help you determine liable parties. We are ready to provide you with personal attention and compassionate support as we help you:

  • Stand up to negligent truck drivers and/or trucking companies
  • Recover so you can get your life back to normal.

Contact a Denver Truck Accident Lawyer From Our Firm

If you have been hurt in a truck accident, or if you have lost a loved one to a fatal truck crash, contact a truck and car accident lawyer.

At Dormer Harpring, we care about more than just winning settlements. We care about your recovery, and we care about your future. Our lawyers are happy to discuss your recovery options with you. Call us at (303) 747-4404 or fill out our online contact form for honest advice about your potential case.


1: A complete electronic guide to FMCSA regulations for commercial drivers and motor carriers

2: FMCSA regulations and resources for drivers