A Trucking Company’s Obligations to Supervise Its Drivers

The FMCSR (federal trucking regulations) require diligence of the trucking company not only when it hires the driver, but also during the time that it employs the driver to operate a vehicle.  Some of the more important of a trucking company’s obligations to supervise its drivers are as follows:

Section 391.25 requires the company to conduct an annual review of each driver’s driving record for the preceding 12 months. Section 391.27 requires each carrier to obtain a report from each of its drivers with a list of all violations of motor vehicle traffic laws and ordinances of which the driver has been convicted or of which the driver has forfeited a bond or collateral during the preceding 12 months.

Section 391.15 requires the trucking company to not only obtain each driver’s report of accidents and violations, but also to analyze these reports to ensure that any driver who has a violation proscribed by this section is disqualified for driving for a period of up to one year. The disqualifying offenses under this section include driving a commercial motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration of 0.04% or more.

The trucking company’s supervision obligations under the FMCSR also include closely monitoring the hours that a driver actually drives a motor vehicle to insure that the driver files correct logs and does not work in excess of the maximum number of hours.

Trucking Company Encouraging Unsafe Driving Practices

Section 390.13 provides that a motor carrier should not aid, abet, encourage, or require its employees to violate any of the rules of the FMCSR. Section 392.6 is more specific in this regard in providing that no trucking company shall schedule a delivery in such a way that would require the driver to operate his or her vehicle at speeds greater than those prescribed by the rules of the road in effect at the location in question. Finally, Section 395.3 provides that no trucking company shall permit or require any driver to exceed the maximum hours of driving time allowed under the FMCSR.

Our Investigation of Trucking Companies

In an investigation, we want to understand whether the truck company encouraged its drivers to engage in any unsafe driving practices, or to violate any of the federal rules and regulations applicable to truck driving.

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