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Trucking Violations Get Help, Get HOPE

Our West Des Moines Lawyers Demand Justice for Trucking Regulatory Noncompliance

Our team holds violators responsible for the accidents they cause

Federal and state laws protect the public from tired, distracted and drunk truck drivers. Yet, commercial drivers and trucking corporations often violate these important rules, putting a lot of people in harm’s way.

The Hope Law Firm, PLC handles challenging tractor-trailer accident claims in West Des Moines and throughout Iowa. Our team has represented clients in catastrophic big-rig accidents on RT I-80 & I-35 and the rural roads of Iowa. If you have been injured in a truck accident, there is Hope.

Cellphone rules

Federal laws prohibit truck drivers from using handheld mobile phones while operating a commercial vehicle. A driver faces fines and commercial license disqualification for violating Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. An employer is also subject to steep fines. The FMCSA bans:

  • Holding a phone
  • Dialing a number by pressing more than one button
  • Reaching for a phone by moving out of a seated, belted position

Drivers are allowed to use hands-free devices to dial, answer and talk on a mobile phone.

Texting regulations

FMCSA rules also bar texting while operating a commercial motor vehicle. The definition of texting is broad, including such electronic communication methods as:

  • Text messaging
  • Short messaging
  • Emailing
  • Instant messaging
  • Internet surfing
  • Using social media platforms
  • Pressing more than a single button to dial or end a call
  • Using any other electronic communication services

The agency anticipates the likely advances in technology and even bans future communication methods. It also accounts for any present platforms not specifically named in the rules.

Hours-of-service laws

Tired drivers are dangerous, especially when operating a tractor-trailer or a passenger bus. To protect motorists, the FMCSA imposes stringent hours-of-service rules on commercial vehicle drivers that restrict:

  • Number of hours per day the driver is allowed to be behind the wheel
  • Number of hours per day the driver is permitted to be on duty, including non-driving time
  • Number of hours per week the driver is allowed to work
  • Workweek restart days
  • Time of day the driver sleeps
  • Minimum break required during a shift
  • Sleeping berth use
  • Maintenance of logbooks by the driver

The HOS rules impose penalties on noncompliant drivers and employers.

Drunk driving

Operating while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol (OWI) is a criminal offense in Iowa. For commercial drivers, the blood alcohol concentration level (BAC) is lower for conviction on an OWI, and the penalties imposed are more severe than for a person who holds a standard driver’s license. A commercial driver with a BAC of .04 percent or higher is considered impaired and faces commercial driver license (CDL) revocation, fines and incarceration if convicted of an OWI.

Learn more about commercial driver regulations

The Hope Law Firm, PLC knows the volumes of federal and Iowa laws that affect truck drivers and their employers. If you were injured because of a violation of one of these regulations, we can hold the driver and corporation accountable. Call our personal injury law firm at (515) 298-5056 or contact us online to schedule your free, no-risk consultation to discuss your claim in detail.

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