An Explanation of Trucking Rules and Regulations in Houston

Trucking regulations such as driver qualifications and safety standards are designed to keep drivers safe while sharing the road with trucks. In addition to federal standards, trucks must also abide by Texas’s specific state standards.

The Law Office Shane R. Kadlec understands trucking rules and regulations in Texas and how those rules interact with federal laws. For help with a trucking accident, contact our office in Houston, TX, to find out whether violated trucking laws and regulations have contributed to or increased the possibility of a vehicle accident.

Federal and state regulations attempt to minimize the dangerous conditions that most often lead to trucking accidents.

Trucking Industry Regulations

Because the consequences of trucking accidents are often catastrophic injuries and deaths, truckers are regulated by a set of federal standards. Referred to as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, this set of rules covers both the driver and carrier and must be followed at all times.

However, the fact that trucks can cross state lines has given rise to the need for both federal and state regulations. A basic breakdown of both the state and federal rules is as follows:

Federal Regulations

In an effort to reduce the number of trucking related accidents and fatalities that take place each year, the federal government has put certain rules in place to regulate the trucking industry. Some of the most vital of these include:

  • Violation of allowable driving hours
  • Failure to maintain driving log
  • Failure to perform routine maintenance
  • Load limit violations
  • Negligent hiring of drivers
  • Existence of a pattern of unsafe driving policies
  • Lack of proper driver qualifications, such as licensing or experience
  • Use of faulty equipment

In many cases, these regulations are at the center of trucking accident lawsuits. Consequently, determining whether or not they have been violated is often integral to the suit.

The fact that trucks can cross state lines has given rise to the need for both federal and state regulations.

State of Texas Regulations

In addition to the rules set forth by the federal government, the State of Texas also has laws in place governing truckers and motor carrier companies. While driving a big rig or 18 wheeler in the state of Texas, drivers and carriers must abide by these rules:

  • Drivers are not permitted to drive for more than 11 consecutive hours
  • Drivers may not drive for at least 10 hours after having been “on duty” for 14 total hours
  • During a 7-day work week, the number of hours worked cannot exceed 70
  • Drivers are required to take off at least 34 hours after having worked 7 days in a row

There are exceptions to some of the Texas state specific regulations, but they only apply to truckers who operate solely within the state. When an accident occurs and either the state or federal regulations have been violated, victims will have special remedies at their disposal.

Understand Your Trucking Laws and Regulations

This specialized area of law requires assistance from an attorney well-versed in both federal and state rules. Call us for help with a case in which trucking laws and regulations are at issue and have likely been violated. You can contact our office online or call us at (281) 643-2000.