What are the Most Common 18-Wheeler Regulation Violations that Lead to Accidents in Georgia?

The trucking industry is comprised of different types of carriers. Some trucking companies are “for-hire carriers” meaning they haul freight that is owned by other businesses.  There are also private truck fleets that operate their own fleet of trucks to support their primary business.

Estimates show there are over 2 million tractor trailers on the highways.  According to American Trucking Association, the state of Georgia has the eighth highest number of truck registrations in Georgia – over 5 million.  The majority of trucking companies are small firms, each operating a handful of trucks.  There were more than 6500 trucking accidents in Georgia in 2023 and 218 fatalities from those accidents.  Investigating a commercial truck accident is different than a typical motor vehicle accident.

Our Norcross truck accident and injury attorneys at Dermer Appel Ruder know how to conduct a thorough investigation of a commercial truck accident, which includes promptly securing the right expert to immediately investigate the crash and preserve evidence that will be necessary to establish who was at fault for the accident.

18-Wheeler Regulation Violations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a U.S. Department of Transportation agency that regulates the trucking industry aims to reduce the number of crashes, injuries, and fatalities caused by large trucks by developing and enforcing data-driven regulations that balance motor carrier safety with efficiency.

Like other rules of the road and truck driver safety requirements, regulations only work if they are followed. Unfortunately, according to the Institute for Safer Trucking, Georgia had the fourth most trucking accident fatalities out of all states in 2021 and data reflects that the number of trucking accident fatalities is on the rise.

In many cases, FMCSA violations caused or contributed to these fatal crashes. Here, we discuss how truck drivers and trucking companies violate these crucial laws, putting everyone on our roadways in danger.

How Are FMCSA Violations Leading to Semi-Truck Accidents in Georgia?

FMCSA Regulations cover everything from commercial driver’s license standards and insurance policy requirements to Hours of Service and inspection, repair, and maintenance requirements.

Trucking companies are legally obligated to follow both Georgia state and the FMCSA. Even with clear regulations in place, many violations still result, causing crashes, severe injuries, and fatalities throughout Georgia.

Some of the most common violations recorded by the FMCSA include:

  • Speeding

Exceeding the posted speed limit for commercial vehicles can lead to accidents, especially on highways and busy roads.

  • Distracted Driving

Distractions like texting, talking on the phone, or using in-cab electronic devices can result in accidents.

  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious violation and a significant factor in accidents involving 18-wheelers.

  • Failure to Yield the Right of Way

Trucks failing to yield the right of way, especially during lane changes or at intersections, can cause collisions.

  • Aggressive/Reckless Driving

Aggressive or reckless behavior, such as tailgating, sudden lane changes, or overtaking a lane, can significantly increase the risk of large truck accidents.

  • Failure to Signal/Unsafe Lane Changes

Failing to signal or check blind spots when changing lanes can result in collisions.

  • Weather-Related Violations

Ignoring adverse weather conditions and not adjusting driving habits accordingly can lead to accidents.

  • Fatigue and Hours of Service Violations

Truck drivers must adhere to specific hours-of-service regulations to prevent driver fatigue. Violating these rules may lead to accidents due to impaired alertness.

  • Improper Loading/Overloading

Incorrectly loaded or unsecured cargo can shift during transit, causing the truck to become unstable. In addition, trucks carrying loads exceeding weight limits can experience difficulty maintaining control and stopping distance, leading to accidents.

  • Equipment Violations

Issues such as faulty brakes, worn-out tires, or malfunctioning lights can contribute to accidents.

  • Negligent Hiring Practices

Companies hiring drivers without proper background checks or ensuring they meet the necessary qualifications may contribute to accidents.

  • Inadequate Training

Truck drivers must undergo proper training to operate such large vehicles. Inexperienced or poorly trained drivers may make mistakes, leading to accidents.

  • Inadequate Supervision

Failure by trucking companies to adequately supervise and manage their drivers can contribute to accidents.

  • Failure to Maintain Equipment

Regular maintenance of trucks is crucial. Neglecting maintenance can result in equipment failures on the road.

Trucking accidents can be catastrophic. Insurance companies know these accidents result in serious and sometimes fatal injuries and they work quickly to mobilize their safety team and experts to investigate to try and minimize their liability.

Contact Our Truck Accident Attorneys in Norcross at Dermer Appel Ruder LLC today

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a commercial vehicle accident caused by negligence of a commercial tractor trailer in Georgia, contact our truck accident attorneys in Norcross at Dermer Appel Ruder LLC today by calling (404)-892-8884 or online to discuss your case during a free consultation.

We can help you determine which party – or combination of parties – is liable for your damages and get to work immediately to thoroughly investigate the crash and build a solid claim.  Valuable evidence must be collected and preserved. Call us today – we are available 24/7 to address your needs related to a truck accident case.


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