Common Regulatory Violations by Truck Drivers Causing New Mexico Trucking Accidents

- Mark Caruso

New Mexico Trucking Accidents Caused by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Violations 

Large commercial trucking companies such as FedEx, YRC Worldwide, HUB Group, Schneider National, Werner Enterprises, and many others use large highway systems such as Interstate 40, Interstate 25, and Interstate 10 to transport goods throughout the United States.  This is known as interstate commerce.  While each state has many specific statutory law applying to all trucking companies and truck drivers, each state’s laws will be slightly different.  Because of this extensive interstate commerce system which spans many states, there is a need for one uniform, regulatory authority to govern trucking companies and truck drivers.

This authority is known as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations or FMCSR.  This is an extensive matrix of rules and regulations governing a wide-range of conduct, maintenance, and other safety rules.  Trucking companies and truck drivers are obligated to comply with these regulations no matter which state they are traveling in—including New Mexico.  When trucking companies or truck drivers violate these rules, it can result in very serious and permanent injuries or even wrongful death to a victim.

Common FMCSR Violations Resulting in New Mexico Trucking Accidents

A violation of a regulation is evidence of negligence when the regulation is meant to protect a victim from a certain harm, and the violation does cause that harm.  This is known as the doctrine of negligence per se.  Some common FMCSR violations which result in evidence of negligence include the following:

Section 392.3 – Ill or Fatigued Operator – truck drivers driving while tired, sleep deprived, and otherwise fatigued is a real threat to our roadways and a major cause of New Mexico trucking accidents.  That is because time is money, and most drivers force themselves to go as far as they can to make as much money as they can.  This section governs drowsy driving and falling asleep while driving, and prohibits truck drivers from operating a commercial vehicle when tired or his or her ability or alertness is impaired.

Section 392.4 – Drugs or other substances – like all motorists, this section make sure to prohibit any illegal drugs but also certain legal drugs which could effect one’s ability to operate a truck.  There is a catch-all section which governs any substance which renders a driver incapable of safety operating a vehicle.  Unfortunately, many truck drivers resort to illegal drugs to help them to stay away, and this section prohibits it.

Section 392.5 – Alcohol prohibition – similarly, this section governs alcohol consumption and absolutely prohibits the use of alcohol within four hours before going on duty or operating a vehicle, and further prohibits a truck driver from having any detectible amount of alcohol in his or her body.  This is a very strict rule and also commonly violated which results in motor vehicle accidents.

Section 392.6 – Schedules to conform with speed limits – this section applies for the trucking company, and requires the trucking company to not result deliveries faster than can be done while the truck driver is driving within the speed limit.  Said differently, the trucking company cannot force a driver to drive faster than the speed limit to meet the trucking company’s schedule.

Section 392.14 – Hazardous conditions; extreme caution – this section is very important and governs dust storms resulting in limited or no visibility.  In extreme weather situations, a truck driver must reduce speed as necessary to operate the truck safely and, if this cannot be done, the truck driver must stop until the vehicle can be safely operated.

There are other important sections which can be violated and result in serious New Mexico trucking accidents, but these are the most common one resulting in a finding of negligence per se.  These are also the more common ones resulting in wrongful death of victims.

Wrongful Deaths Caused by Violations of Federal Regulations Can Result in Compensation for Victims and Their Families

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, call the experienced New Mexico truck accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. today by dialing (505) 883-5000 You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.