Trucking regulations are what keep the transportation industry safe and sustainable for truckers and surrounding drivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is in charge of regulating commercial trucking on a nationwide scale. The FMCSA has hundreds of rules trucking companies and their employees must follow. When companies break these rules, West Virginia trucking accidents can happen. 

Truck Driver Hiring and Training Rules

Before hiring a new driver, a trucking company must properly check the applicant’s background, including any history of auto accidents. Requirements to drive a commercial truck in West Virginia include having a Commercial Driver’s License and passing special written and driving tests. New drivers must also undergo criminal background checks. Drivers must agree to submit to random drug and alcohol testing as well as testing after accidents. Trucking companies are responsible for properly training new drivers as well. Lack of truck driver training can lead to dangerous mistakes such as using the incorrect braking technique.

Hours of Service Regulations

The truck drivers themselves also have to obey many federal and state trucking regulations. One is the hours of service rule. This rule helps ensure truck drivers in West Virginia are not operating big rigs while drowsy or fatigued. The hours of service regulation limits truck drivers to a maximum of 11 on-duty hours in a single 14-hour workday. After 8 of these hours, the driver must take a 30-minute rest or sleeper berth break. A truck driver must fulfill a rest period of 10 hours before he or she can continue driving. In addition, truck drivers have an overarching maximum of 60 or 70 work hours in a 7- or 8-day period. Breaking the hours of service rule could lead to drowsy truck drivers and related accidents.

West Virginia’s Drunk Driving Law

In West Virginia, it is against the law for a motor vehicle driver to operate a car with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% or above. The state’s drunk driving law reduces the legal BAC for truck drivers and other commercial vehicle operators, however. A truck driver in West Virginia cannot operate a vehicle with a BAC at or above 0.04%. Cutting the legal BAC level in half discourages truck drivers from driving drunk and causing a drunk driving accident. This is critical due to how dangerous large, heavy big rigs are for others on the road.

Cargo Loading and Securement Specifications

Trucking companies and cargo loaders must make sure trucks do not exceed federal weight and height restrictions. This is essential for the safe operation of the vehicle. A truck that is too heavy or unbalanced could be prone to rollovers, lost cargo loads and other disasters. They may also be too difficult for the driver to stop and maneuver. The West Virginia Department of Transportation outlines its legal size and weight limits for hauls. Exceeding these limits requires a special permit. An oversized load is one that exceeds 80,000 pounds. The FMCSA also has rules in place for proper load securement and transporting hazmat.

Mandatory Equipment Inspections

A trucking company cannot ensure the safe and responsible transportation of goods without regular truck and equipment inspections. Trucking companies are in charge of maintaining their fleets. Even if the company only leases and does not own a truck, federal law makes the company responsible for accidents involving the vehicle. The FMCSA has guidelines for the inspection, repair and maintenance of commercial trucks. These include a requirement for trucking companies to have schedules in place to ensure trucks remain in safe operating condition. Negligent truck maintenance could lead to part breakdowns and accidents.

A trucking company or driver could be liable for any accident caused by a breach of federal or state law. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident in West Virginia, a personal injury attorney can help during a free consultation. Contact an attorney to discuss holding someone responsible.

Attorney Timothy Manchin established the Manchin Injury Law Group in 2011 after his law partner of more than 25 years became a West Virginia circuit court judge. His focus is on helping individual clients and entire families victimized by negligent acts.

  • Taylor Downs was easy to talk to (I do not speak the legal language well!) and was very upfront and honest about the entire process of my case. He kept me updated as the case progressed, and answered my relentless questions. The end result was a favorable settlement that I’m not sure could have been any better with anyone else. In short, go see Taylor if you have a case. Don’t be intimidated to go seek his help, he won’t blow your brains out with “legal speak”.


  • Being referred to Taylor was the best thing I could have asked for. Taylor and staff are very easy to talk to. I would highly recommend them to anyone.


  • If I ever have to go through it again I would definetly call Taylor right away. The group was so helpful through my situation and handled everything that needed to be done. They made a stressful situation a stress free situation. With Taylor you dont have to worry about one thing. Definietly would recomend to anyone.

    - TAYLOR G.

  • Efficient, knowledgeable, and friendly.


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Manchin Injury Law Group, Took care of me when I got into a car accident while I was pregnant. Very scary moment for a first time mom but thankfully Manchin Injury Law Group had my back and treated me great. They made me feel as if I was part of their family. My son is now 7 Months Old and very happy and healthy. I’m very thankful for them for helping me through everything and getting me what we deserved. I 100% would recommend them to anyone. If I ever have an accident again they will be my number 1 phone call!


  • The support given helped me to feel like I was included in my personal injury case every step of the way. I was informed about the entire process throughout. It was amazing how quick the turn around time was and I would definitely recommend Attorney Timothy J. Manchin to anyone!


  • Taylor and Kelly worked hard on my case so I didn’t have to. Thanks guys!


  • Excellent experience dealing with Manchin Injury Law. They were very responsive, professional and easy to talk to. I did my homework before I hired a lawyer after my accident and I am so glad I found Manchin Injury Law Group. If you are injured, give them a call!


  • Taylor and Tim helped make a difficult moment in life, a little more bearable. Easy to communicate with and informative. I will absolutely recommend them to everyone.


  • Kelly and Taylor did all the hard work so that I didn’t have to. They both cared about my circumstance and got me a nice settlement. Taylor knows what he is doing and I felt comfortable with my case in his hands.


  • Great lawyers. They helped me with a West Virginia case.


  • Such a great experience with Taylor and this firm. Thankful for their diligence and their work on our case. Thank you to all!


  • Had a easy and smooth experience with a great attorney so when you go there make sure you ask for Taylor.


  • My experience at the Manchin Injury Law Group was extremely positive, and I would recommend them to anyone who needs a compassionate and experienced lawyer on their side.


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