The trucking industry is one of the most regulated commercial industries in the country. There are 3 classes of commercial driver licenses and several more endorsements required for hauling different types of materials. Commercial truck drivers are subject to far more laws than private drivers. For example, commercial truck drivers are not permitted to have even a detectable amount of alcohol in their system while operating the commercial motor vehicle. It is important, therefore, to hire an attorney with experience litigating 18 wheeler and bus accidents especially if you or a loved one were seriously injured.
Truck drivers in Texas are subject to the Texas Transportation Code (TTC), the Texas Administrative Code, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and the Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations, to name a few. All of the rules and regulations are have been enacted to ensure that commercial vehicles, including 18 wheelers and buses, are safely maintained, equipped, loaded and operated; that their drivers are qualified to operate the vehicle safely; that they maintain themselves in a physical condition which allows them to safely operate the vehicle and that they maintain the minimum level of financial responsibility to cover accidents and the resulting damage.
Most commercial truck drivers and bus operators are required to undergo drug and alcohol testing prior to being hired and following an accident involving serious injury or death. Part 382. And employers must provide educational materials that explain the requirements of the laws and the employer’s policies and procedures for meeting such requirements.
Section 387.9 of The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations require the following amount of minimum financial responsibility for commercial vehicle drivers:
(1) For-hire (In interstate or foreign commerce, with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,001 or more pounds) Property (nonhazardous) = $750,000;
(2) For-hire and Private (In interstate, foreign, or intrastate commerce, with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,001 or more pounds)
Hazardous substances, as defined in 49 CFR 171.8, transported in cargo tanks, portable tanks, or hopper-type vehicles with capacities in excess of 3,500 water gallons; or in bulk Division 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 materials. Division 2.3, Hazard Zone A, or Division 6.1, Packing Group I, Hazard Zone A material; in bulk Division 2.1 or 2.2; or highway route controlled quantities of a Class 7 material, as defined in 49 CFR 173.403 = $5,000,000;
(3) For-hire and Private (In interstate or foreign commerce, in any quantity; or in intrastate commerce, in bulk only; with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,001 or more pounds)
Oil listed in 49 CFR 172.101; hazardous waste, hazardous materials, and hazardous substances defined in 49 CFR 171.8 and listed in 49 CFR 172.101, but not mentioned in (2) above or (4) below = $1,000,000; and
(4) For-hire and Private (In interstate or foreign commerce, with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 10,001 pounds)
Any quantity of Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 material; any quantity of a Division 2.3, Hazard Zone A, or Division 6.1, Packing Group I, Hazard Zone A material; or highway route controlled quantities of a Class 7 material as defined in 49 CFR 173.403 = $5,000,000.
Many truck and bus accidents are due to driver fatigue. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations has set forth the following requirements of Hours-of-Service, the time limits of driving and time requirements of rest:
Property-Carrying CMV Drivers & Passenger-Carrying CMV Drivers:
11-Hour Driving Limit –May drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
10-Hour Driving Limit –May drive a maximum of 10 hours after 8 consecutive hours off duty.
14-Hour Limit –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.
15-Hour On-Duty Limit –May not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following 8 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time is not included in the 15-hour period.
60/70-Hour On-Duty Limit –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.
60/70-Hour On-Duty Limit –May not drive after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
Sleeper Berth Provision – Drivers 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.
Sleeper Berth Provision –Drivers using a sleeper berth must take at least 8 hours in the sleeper berth, and may split the sleeper-berth time into two periods provided neither is less than 2 hours.
Our Dallas bus accident attorneys understand that there are specific rules commercial bus and truck drivers must follow so that they do not fall asleep and cause a car wreck. Whether you were a passenger on a Greyhound bus, DART, or school bus, or the person hit by the bus, if you were seriously injured by the reckless or negligent acts of a bus driver, you may be entitled to money damages.
We are experienced and aggressive bus accident injury lawyers that handle truck accidents throughout the Dallas Fort Worth area. Therefore, if you were injured while riding in a bus or hit by a truck, our Dallas attorneys are available to discuss the facts of your case and provide a free consultation at 214.880.9988.
Our attorneys are available to provide the guidance you may need if someone was hurt or killed in a bus accident at our Dallas TX or San Antonio TX law offices. Therefore, please call one of our lawyers so that you will understand what rights you have against the person that injured you or a loved one at 214.880.9988 (Dallas) or 210-550-1123 (San Antonio).