How Federal Rules Protects Us From New Mexico Trucking Accidents


September 18, 2019

 by Caruso Law Offices, P.C. | 

New Mexico state law has some pretty comprehensive vehicle and traffic laws.  Many of the statutes have safety in mind.  But when it comes to safety, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) tops them all.  This is a federal agency that has promulgated commercial vehicle regulations which governed everything from equipment to truck driver conduct, even dictating how a truck driver is allowed to spend his or her time over an 8-day period!  These regulations are overwhelmingly meant to safe people and protect them.  Learn how these federal rules protect use from New Mexico trucking accidents from our Albuquerque trucking accident lawyers here.

Federal Rules Apply Everywhere

The trucking industry is an interstate commerce industry.  This means that trucking occurs through many different states.  Commonly the truck driver lives in a state that is different than where the driver is driving to, from, or driving through.  This is why the FMCSA federal rules govern the minimally acceptable conduct that a truck driver must comply with no matter what state the driver is in. 

These rules are also strict.  So strict that even a .01 BAC means the truck driver is intoxicated and operating a truck unlawfully.  These rules also mandate certain conduct by trucking companies such as mandatory drug and alcohol testing after certain crashes.

Hours of Service Rules

The most important FMCSA regulations are the rules governing how long a truck driver can operate a commercial vehicle.  These are very strict rules which really control how truck drivers are allowed to operate.  These rules are aimed at safety and preventing drowsy or fatigued driving.  Some of the most important hours of service rules include the following:

  • 24 shift clock;
  • no more than 14 hours can be “on shift”;
  • mandatory 10 hours “off shift” after an on shift;
  • Maximum 10 hours of driving per 14 hour shift (3 hours of rest);
  • Maximum 8 hours of driving in a row before taking a 30 minute break;
  • 60 hour maximum operating time in a 7-day period;
  • 70 hour maximum operating time in an 8-day period; and
  • Other important rules.

The violation of an FMCSA hours of service regulation which results in a New Mexico trucking accident could result in liability for the trucking company and truck driver.

No Alcohol On or Before Shift

The FMCSA regulations governing alcoholic beverages are the strictest in the country.  These regulations prohibit a truck driver from consuming alcohol on a shift or even with four hours of a shift.  Truck drivers are also prohibited from possessing alcohol during a shift.  Even a .01 BAC will result in a violation.  These are very strong regulations.

Victims of New Mexico Trucking Accidents are Protected by FMCSA Regulations

Here at the Mark Caruso, our experienced Albuquerque trucking accident lawyers know how to use FMCSA to help prove liability in your case to protect your rights to damages.  If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a trucking accident case, please call to schedule your FREE appointment with our lawyers at the Mark Caruso by dialing (505) 308-1556.  

We handle causes throughout New Mexico, including Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Roswell, Cuervo, Rio Rancho, Clovis, Farmington, Hobbs, Albuquerque where our office is located, and anywhere else throughout New Mexico.  Please call to schedule for FREE appointment by dialing (505) 308-1556 or contact us through our website’s easy to use and convenient contact box available here.

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