A truck accident can have devastating consequences. Victims can be left with severe and life-altering injuries, and medical expenses can be overwhelming. In order to help keep roads safe, truck drivers and trucking companies in Texas and throughout the country are required to follow federal law.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates all aspects of the trucking industry. Every year, they investigate potential violations of federal regulations and issue fines. Here are the top 4 FMCSA violations of 2021, according to FleetOwner.
Allowing a driver to operate with a suspended or revoked CDL
This violation accounted for 30.63% of total acute violations and was the top violation for the fifth straight year. The average fine issued was $8,991. Carriers are fully aware that a driver can’t operate a truck with a suspended or revoked CDL. So why do these violations happen? Carriers are required to run a motor vehicle report (MVR) on drivers once a year, and only some choose to do so more often. So a license suspension or revocation may have occurred before the company was aware of it – but they are still responsible.
Implementing an MVR monitoring program is the best way for companies to avoid this violation.
Numbers Two and Three
Failing to implement an alcohol and/or drug testing program (or random testing program)
Companies are required to have a Department of Transportation (DOT)-compliant drug and alcohol testing program. This program must include:
- A pre-employment drug test
- A random testing program
- Follow-up tests in certain circumstances (such as after an accident or if there is reasonable suspicion)
Violations of this requirement together accounted for 35.67% of total violations. Fines were steep, with many carriers settling for $20,000 to $40,000.
Having a compliant DOT drug and alcohol program in place is the best way for companies to avoid this violation.
Allowing a driver with more than one CDL to drive a CMV
States are supposed to check to make sure drivers don’t have another valid CDL before they issue a license. But this doesn’t always happen, so carriers need to verify their drivers have only one CDL. The average fine amount for this violation in 2021 was $8,378.
Other common violations in 2021 were using an unqualified driver, hiring a driver who was disqualified from having a CDL, and failing to keep inquiries into the driver’s employment record in the driver qualifications file.
Talk to a Texas truck accident attorney today
When someone was injured due to the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company, they deserve financial compensation. But that can be a very complicated process. Trucking companies and their insurance carriers aggressively fight claims because they know there is a lot of money at stake.
The truck accident lawyers at Tracey Fox King & Walters understand the impact a collision can have on victims and their families. We investigate trucking companies to determine if any federal regulations were violated. Our attorneys build strong cases and fight for the financial compensation our clients deserve.
Contact us to schedule a free consultation at one of our offices. We have locations in Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.