What Vehicles Are Subject to FMCSA? How Can a Vehicle Accident Attorney Help?

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Commercial vehicles are essential to life as we know it. Some carry goods from one company to another or to stores and people’s homes. Others provide transportation for people. Some CMVs aid the construction industry and other sectors. Those are only a few of the types of commercial vehicles that keep the world up and running. They’re becoming more common on the roads due to a growing demand for the services they and their drivers provide. That also means accidents involving these vehicles are on the rise. Because of size, weight, and other factors, those accidents can be much more detrimental than those involving standard passenger vehicles.  

Discussing Some Regulations Pertaining to Commercial Vehicles

Based on the latest reports, there are more than five million automobile accidents each year on America’s roadways. About 500,000 of those involve 18-wheelers with many others involving additional types of commercial vehicles. People’s chances of being in a truck accident are growing by the year. Commercial vehicles and their drivers are held to higher standards than other automobiles. Numerous regulations are in place to improve safety and help prevent accidents. They’re put into place and monitored by the FMCSA.

What Is the FMCSA?

The FMCSA, or Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, is a division of the Department of Transportation. It was developed to govern commercial vehicles and their drivers to reduce the number of accidents involving 18-wheelers, buses, and other commercial vehicles. Its regulations cover commercial vehicles and operators throughout the United States. 

Which Vehicles Fall Under FMCSA Regulations?

Several types of commercial vehicles are covered by FMCSA regulations. These include trucks with a weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds. Trucks that carry cargo fall under FMCSA governance as do those that carry hazardous materials. Vehicles designed to transport passengers, like buses, fall under FMCSA rule as well. Per regulations, those types of vehicles must be maintained and kept in safe operating condition.

Regulations for Commercial Drivers

Many regulations apply to commercial drivers as well. They must acquire and maintain different types of commercial licenses depending on the vehicles they plan to operate. Drivers are required to meet all qualifications that pertain to commercial vehicle operation, including having the proper licenses and driving experience. They must be in good health and pass routine drug and alcohol testing among other requirements. For long-haul drivers, certain periods of rest during their trips are also mandatory. Those are only a few of the rules that apply to commercial drivers. 

Keeping the Roadways Safe

As mentioned, the FMCSA and DOT monitor commercial vehicles and drivers. Drivers are required to register with the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, a database of commercial drivers that helps employers ensure their employees and prospects are legally allowed to drive commercially. Commercial vehicles are subject to roadside inspections and a range of other measures to make sure they’re safe and fit for the road. 

Still, numerous commercial vehicle accidents take place each year. Those who are involved in such accidents often sustain serious injuries. An estimated 5,000 people lose their lives in these types of accidents each year as well, and that number has been on the rise for quite some time. Victims in these accidents are advised to seek legal counsel. Attorneys can help ensure their rights are upheld and they receive the compensation to which they’re entitled, such as financial coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. 

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