The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is charged with the responsibility of keeping our highways safe as far as motor carriers and commercial truck drivers are concerned. One of the ways that the administration regulates safety for truck drivers and motor carriers is to issue regulations which give a minimum level of safe conduct acceptable by professional truck drivers and the trucking companies.
Besides the regulations, the administration also provides guidance in the way of interpretations of the regulations for clarity. Some of the lesser-known regulations relating to truck driver safety are as follows:
Section 392.50 – Ignition of fuel; prevention
This section provides that a driver, employee or motor carrier must seek to prevent the ignition of fuel by following the safety guidelines set forth below.
- The commercial motor vehicle must be turned off when fueling except as when necessary to fuel the commercial motor vehicle;
- Smoking or exposing any open flame around the truck is prohibited while it is being fueled;
- The nozzle of the fuel hose must be continuously in contact with the intake part of the fuel tank.
Additionally, the regulation provides that the truck driver or motor carrier shall not permit, as far as practical, any other person to engage in prohibited activities which would likely lead to the result in a fire or explosion.
While these rules of evidence by the regulations may seem like common sense they are part of an ongoing effort to keep professional truck drivers and the public as safe as possible.
Additional regulations provide that open flame heaters which are commonly used in loading and unloading of a commodity shall not be in operation while the commercial vehicle is in motion. These commonsense rules are to ensure that a commercial vehicle does not become a fire or explosion hazard.
There are many commercial vehicles involved in accidents that end up in a fireball. One of the reasons for the risks of a vehicle fire in a commercial semi truck is that the fuel tanks are commonly located outside the frame in an area that is subject to breach in an accident.
The risk of a fire after an accident obviously is increased for vehicles containing hazardous or flammable loads. Special rules apply to trucks and truck drivers that transport hazardous materials. Generally, section 397 of the FMCSR provides the rules and regulations applicable to the transport of hazardous materials.
If you are loved one have been injured in an accident with a tractor-trailer, contact the best 18 wheeler accident attorney you can find quickly after the accident. With semi-truck accidents, time is usually of the essence and the sooner you consult with a real truck accident attorney the better.