Texas Trucking Rules and Regulations
To ensure the safety of all vehicles on the road, both the federal and Texas governments have issued a wide array of safety regulations regarding 18-wheelers and big rigs. Trucking companies and truck drivers must comply with these regulations or risk losing the right to operate.
The expert legal team at Sorey, Gilliland & Hull, LLP believe that any individual injured in a trucking accident caused by a violation of federal or state regulations deserves full compensation for any damages, including medical, financial and emotional. We work closely with medical experts, accident reconstructionists, financial experts, and regulatory supervisors to fully investigate each case and ensure justice is upheld. Contact us at (903) 212-2822 to schedule a free consultation to review your personal injury claim.
There are two sets of regulations that govern trucks on Texas roads: those of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that regulate the operation of trucks throughout the nation, and the Texas-specific regulations enforced by the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS). Both sets of laws regulate the following aspects of truck driving:
- Licensing requirements: Drivers in Texas are required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and must meet specific requirements. Factors such as previous driving violations, a history of substance abuse, and many others can disqualify an individual from obtaining a license.
- Vehicle requirements: Vehicles must be equipped with a minimum set of safety features to protect the drivers and those around them. Texas, in particular, provides additional regulations regarding the operability and visibility of such safety features.
- Maintenance requirements: Trucks must be regularly inspected and maintained, and the FMCSA has issued a comprehensive list of what must be inspected and verified as operational before a truck can be driven.
- Operating requirements: Many regulations exist that dictate what a driver can and cannot do, specifically regarding the legal limit of continuous driving hours (this requirement includes having an up-to-date log in the vehicle at all times), tighter drug and alcohol limits than those of non-commercial drivers, and many more.
- Financial requirements: Truck companies are required to have minimum insurance policies and be financially responsible for any trucks that drive on our streets.
While trucking companies are required to follow the federal and state regulations, the sad truth is that many of them don’t, putting the lives truck drivers and others sharing the roadways at risk. A recent FMCSA report showed that there were over 13,000 basic violations in a single year, with 53 percent being related to vehicle maintenance. From highest to lowest, the top offenses in Texas are:
- Improper vehicle maintenance
- Driving beyond the federally mandated limit of continuous driving hours
- Unqualified drivers
- Noncompliance with crash indicator requirements
- Drugs and alcohol abuse
- Unsafe driving
- Hazardous materials transportation requirements violations
The most crucial aspect of your case to recover compensation for your losses is determining and proving that someone else’s negligence or carelessness led to the accident. This process includes a thorough investigation and working with specialists to see what laws, codes, and regulations were violated, and how those violations contributed to the accident. For example:
- If the trucking company neglected to replace the tires on a truck as required and, as a result, one of the tires burst and caused the collision, the trucking company can be held liable for the accident.
- If the driver falsified his legally required logs that show his driving hours vs. his sleep time to “get there faster” and fell asleep at the wheel as a result, this would make the driver and the trucking company both liable.
- If a driver was hired and put on the road despite being unqualified, as revealed by a standard background check, the trucking company can be held liable for violating regulations and putting a known risk in the driver’s seat.
When you’re suffering injuries or the loss of a loved one, you need someone on your side that will help you through the mess, take care of the claims and lawsuits, and give you the peace to breathe, grieve, and recover. Our veteran attorneys at Sorey, Gilliland & Hull, LLP, are veterans at doing just that. We provide services around YOU – and we do what it takes to help you make it through this situation and make the best of it.
When you call Sorey, Gilliland & Hull, LLP, you will be assisted by a seasoned legal team that is dedicated to protecting the rights people who have experienced the horrors of being injured in a truck accident, especially those involving the Permian Basin. If you can’t come to our offices, we will come to you, and we will answer your questions regardless of whether or not we take your case. All our cases are represented on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay unless we win – and the millions of dollars we’ve earned for our clients reveal our impressive win/loss ratio. Call us today at (903) 212-2822 to schedule a free consultation.
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18-wheeler Driver Fell Asleep And Killed Driver.