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WV shows many violations of federal trucking regulations

Truck drivers and truck companies must adhere to a number of different federal trucking regulations. Although some people in the trucking industry may take issue with many of these regulations, the governmental agencies have promulgated them to try to make trucking safer for everyone on the roadways. But, regardless of whether any particular driver or company agrees with the safety regulations, they must adhere to them.

Restrictions on the number of hours that a truck driver can be on the road are important because fatigued truckers have caused devastating truck accidents. Likewise, regulations limit the weight of a truck's cargo because an overloaded truck can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle, leading to an accident. But, other trucking safety regulations are just as important as those that address hours of service and truck weight.

For example, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which is a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, sets safety standards for the transportation of hazardous materials throughout the country. But, according to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, not all trucks comply with these standards at all times. In 2015, for example, trucks in West Virginia registered 133 violations of regulations for transporting hazardous materials. That number of violations accounted for more than 10 percent of the 1,258 hazardous materials roadside inspections in West Virginia during the year.

No matter if a truck is carrying hazardous materials or any other kind of cargo, government agencies regulate commercial trucks more heavily than passenger vehicles because of the ramifications of a truck accident. When a smaller vehicle is involved in an 18-wheeler accident, the people in that smaller vehicle tend to suffer the most severe injuries. People who are victims of a truck accident, and their family members, should investigate all possible causes of the accident, including whether the truck driver and truck company followed all regulations.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, "Roadside Inspections, HazMat Violations," accessed on Jan. 15, 2016

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