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FMCSA Violations That Lead to Truck Accidents

Posted By Aguirre Law | March 14 2024 | Firm News, Personal Injury

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) is a regulatory agency within the US Department of Transportation that is responsible for the regulations and safety oversight of commercial motor vehicles (CMV) in the US. The FMCSA develops and enforces safety regulations for trucks and trucking companies which are important for the safety and well-being of not only truck drivers but for other drivers on the road as well.

The FMCSA’s mission is to reduce the amount of crashes, injuries, and fatalities that occur on the nation’s roadways involving large trucks. The agency aims to improve CMV safety through the regulation, education, and enforcement of strict regulations.

Violations of FMCSA regulations can lead to severe, and in some cases, fatal accidents.

What Are The Most Common FMCSA Violations That Cause Accidents?

There are many common FMCSA safety violations that can contribute to accidents.

Hours of Service (HOS)

Hours of service regulations outline the maximum amount of time commercial truck drivers can spend operating their vehicles and how much rest time they need in between driving segments. Violations of HOS regulations like exceeding driving hours or failing to take the full required rest break can lead to driver fatigue, impairing alertness and reaction times, thus increasing the risk of accidents.

Vehicle Maintenance

Proper maintenance of commercial trucks is essential to ensure they are operating safely. Failing to properly maintain a truck can lead to brake failure, and tire blowouts, and can cause issues with other critical components leading to mechanical failure or malfunction, which can ultimately increase the likelihood of accidents.

Cargo Loading and Distribution Rules

Improperly loading and distribution of cargo can affect the stability of the truck transporting it and cause the driver to lose control. Cargo loading and distribution violations can lead to rollovers and other accidents, which pose significant safety hazards on the road.


Traveling at excess speeds is a leading cause of accidents involving trucks and other CMVs. Speeding drastically reduces a truck driver’s ability to react to situations or hazards in the road, and increases the severity of collisions. Violating posted speed limits or driving too fast for the road or weather conditions can increase the risk of accidents.

Distracted Driving

Activities like talking on the phone, texting, using electronic devices, eating, and more, can divert the driver’s attention from the road. Distracted driving can lead to decreased situational awareness and increase the risk of accidents.

Some other safety violations that can lead to serious accidents include:

  • Following too closely
  • Reckless driving
  • Failure to yield the right of way
  • Improper turns
  • Improper lane changes
  • Possession of alcohol or drugs while operating a vehicle
  • And more

Legal Obligations of Trucking Companies

Trucking companies have legal obligations to ensure the safety of their operations. This can be done by hiring qualified drivers, providing proper training for drivers, and properly maintaining vehicles. Failure to fulfill these responsibilities can have serious legal consequences. Companies may be held partially or fully liable for damages caused in accidents involving their vehicles and drivers, depending on the circumstances.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck accident The Aguirre Law Firm may be able to help you. Contact our 18-wheeler accident lawyer in San Antonio today.

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