Commercial trucking falls under both U.S. and Texas law. The federal government regulates some issues to ensure smooth interstate travel. For example, equipment regulations are typically covered by federal law. As a result, trucks can cross state lines without having to replace all the equipment on the vehicle.
Other regulations fall under state law. Truckers must follow local traffic laws and comply with state licensing requirements. After a truck accident, you need to know if the truck driver and trucking company followed the commercial trucking rules in Fort Worth, TX.
How Anderson Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Truck Accident in Fort Worth, TX
Anderson Injury Lawyers was founded in 2007 to provide legal services to accident victims in Fort Worth, Texas. Our attorneys have successfully secured hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for our clients.
After you suffer an injury, our Fort Worth truck accident lawyers can provide:
- A free consultation to discuss your case and explain your right to compensation
- Decades of experience in preparing insurance claims and negotiating settlements
- Seasoned litigators to file a lawsuit if the insurer fails to offer a fair settlement
Proving liability for a truck accident can require extensive legal knowledge and experience dealing with insurers. Contact Anderson Injury Lawyers to discuss your truck collision and how we can help you recover compensation for your injuries.
How Many Commercial Truck Crashes Happen in Texas?
Texas has a lot of commercial trucking traffic. Trucks carry goods used by the state’s 30 million residents. They also transport goods coming through the ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border and the Gulf of Mexico.
In the U.S., commercial motor vehicles include vehicles that meet any of the following criteria:
- Has a gross vehicle weight greater than 10,000 pounds
- Is designed to carry nine or more passengers for compensation
- Is designed to carry 16 or more passengers regardless of compensation
- Transports hazardous materials
Texas tracks the number of traffic crashes involving commercial vehicles in the state. In 2022, Texas had 38,621 total commercial motor vehicle accidents. Of these, 2,020 crashes happened in Tarrant County, home to Fort Worth, TX.
The crashes in the Fort Worth metro area caused:
- 13 fatal injuries
- 50 serious injuries that incapacitated the victim
- 323 minor injuries that produced visible wounds
- 392 complaints of pain without any visible injury
The majority of truck crashes in Fort Worth in 2022 caused no injuries.
Texas Trucking Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) shares regulatory responsibility for commercial trucks with the states. Because of this shared jurisdiction, trucking regulations can come from either the U.S. government or the Texas state government.
The U.S. Constitution decides the areas where each can issue regulations. Texas can write laws covering all areas except those that could impair interstate commerce. Some regulations handled by each jurisdiction include the following:
Federal Trucking Regulations
Federal trucking regulations serve two primary purposes. First, they set uniform standards for all commercial motor vehicles and their operators regardless of their locations. As a result, you can trust that both the truck driver and their equipment will meet the same safety standards, whether they haul goods to Texas from Mexico or Oklahoma.
Some examples of the areas covered by these standards include:
- The maximum legal weight and size of semi-trucks and trailers on interstate highways
- The number of hours drivers can work before taking a break
- The equipment trucks and trailers must have
- The standards drivers must meet
Thus, federal law sets the maximum legal weight of a tractor-trailer combination at 80,000 pounds. It limits drivers to working for no longer than 14 hours out of every 24 hours. It requires trucking companies to randomly administer tests for drugs and alcohol upon hiring and after a truck accident.
Second, federal law creates an overarching structure for inspecting trucking companies and their records and shutting them down if they violate safety laws.
State Trucking Regulations
Texas regulates two primary areas. First, traffic laws fall under the state’s jurisdiction. Truckers must follow all the same traffic laws as the drivers of other vehicles. They can get cited for speeding, passing unsafely, and tailgating, just like other drivers. And if they crash while committing any of these safety violations, they and their employers can bear liability for any injuries.
Additionally, Texas issues, suspends, and revokes commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs). As with non-commercial driver’s licenses, a Texas CDL is valid in every state, as well as Mexico and Canada. If Texas suspends or revokes a driver’s CDL, the action gets entered into a database for trucking companies and out-of-state police agencies to check.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation With Our Fort Worth Truck Accident Attorneys To Discuss Your Case
A commercial truck accident can cause catastrophic injuries. The award-winning team at Anderson Injury Lawyers can provide you with the aggressive representation you deserve while you focus on recovering. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your truck accident injuries today.