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Truck Crash Cases: FMCSR Publications and Crash Reports

truck accident

2 minute read


In some of the past blogs, we have covered the fact that transfer a truck, or commercial truck, accidents are significantly different from a regular car wreck between two private citizens. Check out the link here: This blog specifically relates to the importance of crash reports at the time of the crash and the amount of effort and energy that goes into each one of the reports. Also, this blog will demonstrate exactly how to obtain that crash report and make sure that the officer on duty properly includes the relevant information needed for litigation.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR)

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations Handbook (FMCSR)[1] has regulations requiring the use of retroreflective sheeting and materials on trailers and the rear of the tractor-trailer trucks. These rules are intended to reduce the incidence of motorists crashing into the sides are the rears of the trailers at night-time in limited or reduced visibility. For example, under the FMCSA, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, who regulates tractor-trailer trucks and their transportation on interstate highways, section 390.3 is the general applicability as to which carriers a regulation may apply to regarding necessary requirements.[2] Some of the publications from the FMCSR include things such as accessories or parts for safe operation, that would fall under section 393.11. For example, the section lists lamps in reflective devices, as mentioned above, that tractor-trailers are supposed to have reflectors to prevent the types of crashes that are common at night time, such as the rear-end crashes due to a lack of sufficient reflective lighting.[3] These publications give an outline for the requirements that all transfer trucks must have and include when traveling across interstate boundaries and when traveling intra-state. If just one of these codes is breached, then that is a cause of contributory negligence, and in some jurisdictions, or in jurisdictions such as Florida, comparative negligence. This means that the driver of the commercial truck could be held liable for not following the proper protocol issued by FMCSR.

Crash Reports

The FMCSR also has a specific standard for crash reports. The crash report is comprised of multiple parts of information on a standard form that is very similar to a passenger vehicle report. It includes things like whether the accident was a hit and run, whether it was in a school zone, and what sort of weather conditions were present at the time of the accident. Typically, on a crash report, the claimant will also be able to determine whether the vehicle was towed afterward, and also what sort of damage was done between both of the vehicles. The crash report is one of the most imperative parts of litigating a transfer truck case.

Injury Criteria for Orlando Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck crash that involved a transfer truck, 18-wheeler, or commuter truck, please give us a call at 407-706-3909.

Date: May 2, 2022

Author: Brandon Salter

[1] https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/search

[2] https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/section/3903

[3] https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/title49/section/39311