Truck drivers and trucking companies are required to comply with numerous state and federal regulations. These rules are in place to keep everyone on the road safe. However, they can only be effective if people comply with them.
Unfortunately, the failure to comply with federal regulations is what evidently led to a fatal accident two years ago, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. The agency recently announced that their investigation has reveal a fatigued trucker in violation of Hours of Service regulations was the probable cause of the devastating crash.
The reports also indicate that it was the failure of multiple parties to comply with safety regulations that ultimately contributed to the crash. Not only did the truck driver falsify logbook entries and fail to get adequate rest as is required by law, but the motor carrier and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also failed to take steps that could have prevented the crash.
The NTSB stated that the motor carrier was deemed "high-risk" and should have taken additional actions to ensure it was complying with safety requirements but failed to do so. Further, the FMCSA failed to properly oversee the company or take appropriate action to get the non-compliant carrier out of operation if necessary.
Because of these failures, the NTSB reports, the unsafe trucker was still behind the wheel when he crashed into two stationary vehicles, killing one person and seriously injuring two others.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for several parties to be at fault for these types of trucking accidents. Truckers, truck owners, employers and other parties all play a role in the safe operation of commercial vehicles; failure on anyone's part to comply with the rules that are in place can -- and too often does -- have catastrophic consequences.
After a truck crash, victims and their families may have no idea where to find answers or how to figure out who is responsible for the crash. Rather than try to figure all this out on your own, it can be wise to consult an attorney experienced in pursuing claims following a truck accident.
Source: Truckinginfo, "NTSB: Trucker, Carrier, FMCSA at Fault in Fatal Truck Crash," David Cullen, Feb. 10, 2016