A fully-loaded commercial truck can weigh up to 80,000 and wreak serious havoc in a traffic accident. In 2017, approximately 4,102 people lost their lives across the United States due to truck accidents. That’s why strict regulations and safety enforcement is crucial – not just for saving lives but for holding negligent truck drivers and trucking companies accountable.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) oversees all trucking fleets and tracks them for safety regulation compliance using a program called Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA). Violations are grouped into several categories.
That means if truck driver or trucking company violates federal safety standards, the FMCSA issues points. A high number of points can prompt an investigation into a fleet.
Common safety violations
On the higher end of the point system, the most common violations that can elicit 10 points include:
- Reckless driving
- Driving faster than the speed limit by 15 m.p.h. or more
- Speeding in construction zones
- Operating a vehicle after being declared out of service
- Possession of drugs
- Drug impairment
Fleets may be issued less points for the following violations:
- Disregarding traffic control devices
- Tailgating another vehicle
- Illegal passing
- Negligent lane changing
- Disregarding right-of-way laws
- Operating a commercial vehicle on an interstate while under age 21
- Lacking physical qualifications for job
Other common safety violations include:
- E-log and electronic on-board computer violations
- Hours of service violations
- Inaccurate or falsified paperwork
- Failure to maintain and inspect vehicles
Injured in a truck accident? An attorney can help you build a strong claim.
In the event of an accident with a large commercial truck, you may be wondering how CSA scores can help your claim, especially since they’re not accessible to the public. While CSA scores may not provide a great deal of evidence after a crash, it can show that a fleet has a history of violating federal safety regulations. In order to use this to support your claim, your attorney would have to issue a subpoena to the FMCSA to obtain proof of safety violations.
Additionally, CSA scores can indicate that a trucking company habitually hires unqualified drivers or fails to properly maintain and inspect its vehicles. Perhaps the company falsified hours-of-service or maintenance records. The last thing trucking companies want is to be scrutinized or investigated, especially after a crash. They’ll go to great lengths to deny any wrongdoing on their part.
The legal team at the Law Offices of Gene S. Hagood know better. We have seen the devastation caused by truck accidents. Lives are turned upside down. Those impacted often face expensive medical bills and injuries that put them out of work for a lengthy period of time. A single crash can be financially, emotionally, and physically overwhelming.
That’s why you need us on your side. We’ll launch a thorough investigation and gather crucial evidence to help you maximize your compensation. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.