18 Wheeler regulations in Texas:
It must be re-stated that the trucking industry has become the most regulated commercial industry in the United States. This page describes the regulations most often relied on by an attorney to research the correct safety measures to be used by the trucking industry. Further, if any of the regulations were violated or ignored this will be used to establish the negligence of the truck driver, the trucking company or both in order to establish negligence and to maximize any monetary reward a person would be entitled to. Because of the broad scope of regulations that apply to the trucking industry only key parts of the regulations are discussed.
FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY REGULATIONS:
This legislation can be found at Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations. A summary of some of the key parts used by attorneys in trucking accidents are listed below:
PART 382 – Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing – Used to describe when and how a truck driver should be tested for illegal substances before during and after an accident involving a commercial vehicle.
PART 383 – Commercial Driver’s License Standards – Used to determine if the driver of a commercial vehicle was qualified to operate the vehicle in use at the time of the accident.
PART 387 – Minimum Levels of Financial Responsibility for Motor Carriers – Used to establish the “settlement value” of a claim or to determine if an asset search and possible attachment of assets will be necessary upon a jury award of money to the client.
PART 399 – Employee Safety and Health Standards – Used to determine if all safety and health precautions were taken by the truck driver and the trucking company to keep the roads safe.
PART 397 – Transportation of Hazardous Materials – To determine if any other health risks to the public at large as well as the injured party are present and if so, how to appropriately compensate an injured party for those risks.
TEXAS TRANSPORTATION CODE:
There are many different sections to the Transportation Code for the State of Texas. Multiple sections specifically deal with commercial drivers and their vehicles. A summary of the key sections used by attorneys in 18 Wheeler accidents are listed below:
§644.152 and §644.052 – Safety Standards – Delineates the safety requirements that must be followed when using a commercial vehicle.
§522.101-106 – Alcohol and Drug Use – Describes the methods used to insure that truck drivers are sober and drug free while traveling the roadways in Texas.
§522 – Requirements for Commercial Driver’s License – Important piece of legislation that allows attorneys to evaluate the qualifications of a truck driver who has been in a wreck in Texas.
RULES OF THE ROAD:
The Texas Transportation Code sections 541 – 600 describe the rules that are to be followed when traveling throughout Texas. Most of these sections are used by police officers when issuing traffic citations such as speeding, unsafe lane change, etc. They apply to commercial vehicles as well as regular automobiles. We have listed some of the main provisions used to argue that a violation of the statute is “negligence per se” and that liability rests with the person who violated the statute.
545.062 – Following Distance – Many rear-end collisions could be avoided if this statute was followed. Following too closely is the main reason for most collisions of this type.
545.351 – Maximum Speed Requirement – this section allows us to prove that a collision caused by a speeding driver was what caused the wreck so that liability can be placed squarely on the person that did not control their speed.
545.420 – Racing on Highway – Many times, especially late at night, drivers are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Reckless Drivers often violate this statute causing serious bodily injury to those innocent travelers on Texas roads.
550.023 – Duty to Give Information and Render Aid – This statute can be used to request punitive damages against a person who was involved in a wreck and left the scene of the accident without offering assistance.