Due to the potential harm that truck drivers can cause, a number of federal and state trucking regulations are in place to protect other drivers on the road. Trucking companies have a heightened duty to maintain safe practices. When their behavior rises to the negligent level, recovery may be possible.
Federal Trucking Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration establishes laws that aim to prevent trucking accidents. A car accident lawyer can investigate if any of these rules were violated and if they could have played a part in a victim’s accident. Some of the laws designed to reduce the number of trucking accidents include:
- Off-duty requirements – Truck drivers are required to take at least ten consecutive hours off duty before starting a new shift.
- Hour limitations – Truck drivers must not work more than 60 hours within seven consecutive days or 70 hours in eight days. Additionally, truck drivers should only drive a maximum of eleven hours in a fourteen-hour shift.
- Break requirements – Truck drivers are required to take a break of at least 30 minutes after driving eight hours before they can resume driving.
- Weigh limits – The FMCSA imposes certain weight limitations for commercial vehicles. Single-axle vehicles must not weigh more than 20,000 pounds. Tandem-axle vehicles must not weigh more than 34,000 pounds.
These are the federal limits. States may impose stricter limits when the vehicles are driven on roads other than the interstate.
Nevada Trucking Laws
The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) has the authority to pass laws to safeguard other drivers from dangerous commercial trucks. Specific Nevada trucking regulations enforced by NDOT include:
Trucks cannot be more than fourteen feet in height, 102 inches wide, or 70 feet in length unless they have a special permit.
Nevada has the same weight guidelines as the federal regulations for single-axle and tandem-axle vehicles. However, the state also imposes a 42,000-pound limit for triple-axle vehicles, and weight limits may be different on bridges or special roadways.
Driver’s License Requirements
A truck driver must have a CDL to operate a commercial truck and must be at least 25 years old to drive a vehicle more than 70 feet long.
Truckers in Nevada must agree to blood alcohol testing if pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving and must wait at least 24 hours before driving if any detectable amount of alcohol is in their system.