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What Makes Commercial Trucking Accident Lawsuits Different?


Drivers of commercial motor vehicles like 18-wheelers and large delivery trucks are strictly regulated by specialized rules put in place by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Act (FMCSA) in order to keep other drivers safe.

Such regulations include special licensing requirements, stricter blood alcohol content limits, stricter distract driving requirements, vehicle maintenance requirements, and physical fitness requirements. These regulations also set firm limits on the number of hours a commercial vehicle driver can consecutively drive without taking a break.

For example, a property-carrying commercial motor vehicle driver:

  • may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
  • may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.
  • may not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days. A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive day period after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.
  • using the sleeper berth provision must take at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, plus a separate 2 consecutive hours either in the sleeper berth, off duty, or any combination of the two.

If it is determined that the truck driver, a fleet operator, or any part of a commercial vehicle was in violation of a TxDOT or FMCSA regulation at the time of your accident or leading up to your accident, it is much easier to demonstrate that negligence occurred.

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