Truck drivers in Texas must adhere to all federal and state regulations regarding trucking operations. They are subject to federal regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and state laws overseen by the Texas Department of Public Safety (TDPS). These laws pertain to tractor-trailers and other forms of commercial vehicles.
Because accidents involving trucks are often catastrophic, laws regarding their operation, maintenance, licensing, and insurance are very strict. The duty of care for truck drivers is higher than it is for ordinary motorists. Unfortunately, violations are common, putting the lives of the public at risk.
Truck accident regulations are complicated. A Dallas truck accident attorney at Angel Reyes & Associates has the expertise necessary to protect your rights while helping you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Truck Driver Requirements
In Texas, all truck drivers must hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Those with prior driving violations, including those involving substance abuse, may not qualify to hold a CDL. Texas issues CDLs for all drivers residing or working in the state.
A commercial truck accident lawyer knows that drivers are also governed by federal law regarding safety and work hours. Many accidents occur because the driver was drowsy from working beyond the federally mandated limit. They may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off-duty, as per the FMCSA.
Drivers must take a 30-minute break if they drive for eight cumulative hours without a minimum 30-minute interruption. The laws are clear regarding sleeper berth provisions, the number of hours they may drive on consecutive days, and many other factors.
Common Truck Driver Violations
The regulations most often violated by truck drivers as per the FMCSA include:
- Lack of driver log or driver log not up to date – All drivers must record their status every 24 hours. Trucking companies must ensure compliance. Incomplete logs frequently obscure the amount of time spent behind the wheel.
- Non-English-speaking drivers – Drivers must have a sufficient command of written and spoken English to understand traffic signs, complete logs and reports and respond to officials.
- Failing to wear a seat belt.
Common TDPS violations include:
- Not having the required operable lights -There are standards for lights on each type of vehicle, and they must always remain unobscured and operational.
- Faulty brakes – A major contributor to truck crashes.
- Worn tread – Tire tread depth cannot fall below 2/32 of an inch. Tire blowouts cause the driver to lose control of the truck, potentially resulting in serious accidents.
- Grease or oil leaks
Contact a Dallas Truck Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a truck accident, you need the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer at Reyes Brown Reilly Law Firm. Schedule a free, confidential consultation today by calling or texting 24/7 or completing our online form. Because we work on a contingency basis, there is no fee unless you receive compensation.