Huge tractor-trailers speed up and down our highways, frequently running at speeds far beyond the posted limit, and often tail-gating, weaving in and out and engaging in other dangerous maneuvers. These commercial vehicles may weigh up to 80,000 pounds when loaded. If not operated carefully and safely on our roadways, they present a clear and present danger to all of us. Professional drivers are held to different standards than ordinary automobile drivers, and trucking companies are required to carefully screen and monitor their drivers. Motor carriers are required to make sure that their drivers comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), 49 CFR Sec. 390.11, and it is illegal for anyone to “aid, abet, encourage or require” a driver to violate the regulations (49 CFR 390.13). A trucking company must perform an annual review on each driver to make sure the driver is still qualified and competent to drive a commercial vehicle after he or she is hired, 49 CFR Sec. 391.25. And, before hiring a driver, the trucking company must make inquiries of a driver’s prior employers for a three year period preceding the driver’s application for employment and run a moving violation report (MVR) to determine the qualifications of the driver, 49 CFR Sec. 391.23.
Engaging counsel experienced in battling the trucking industry is essential to success in accident cases involving tractor trailers and other large commercial vehicles.