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Truck Accident Attorney in Las Vegas

Understanding Trucking Regulations

Commercial vehicles, including large trucks like tractor-trailers, semi-trucks and tanker trucks used for interstate and international transportation of goods, are governed by a specific set of laws. State and federal trucking regulations set forth certain restrictions and requirements regarding such issues as vehicle weight limits, vehicle maintenance, driving hours, drug and alcohol testing and driver qualifications. These rules serve to keep the trucking industry operating smoothly and also protect both truck drivers and other motorists on the road.

When trucking regulations are violated, serious accidents may occur. Shook & Stone investigates and handles claims for clients involving truck accidents that can be attributed to state and/or federal trucking violations. Our truck accident attorneys represent clients across Las Vegas and throughout Nevada. Since 1997 we have dedicated our practice to the protection of the injured. You can find out how we can help with your case by calling for a free consultation, or you can learn more about trucking regulations by reading on.

Federal Trucking Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is charged with the task of reducing collisions, injuries and deaths caused by large trucks and buses. In accordance with this mission, the FMCSA enforces regulations that apply to truck drivers, large trucks and trucking companies. For example:

  • Truck drivers may not start a work shift and drive without first having had at least 10 consecutive hours off duty.
  • Truck drivers may not drive after having been on duty for 60 hours in a time period of 7 consecutive days, or 70 hours in an 8-day period.
  • Truck drivers may only drive a total of 11 hours during a 14-hour work shift.
  • Truck drivers must have had at least 10 consecutive hours off duty before beginning a 14-hour work shift and may only drive after a 14-hour work shift if they take an off-duty break of at least 10 consecutive hours.
  • Truck drivers may not drive for more than 8 hours after a previous off-duty or rest break of at least 30 minutes.
  • The following weight limits apply to commercial vehicles, for the Interstate Highway System: 20,000 pounds for single axle vehicles, 34,000 pounds for tandem axle vehicles and 80,000 pounds for gross vehicle weight. (Note: individual states may set their own weight limits for driving off the Interstate Highway System)
  • Federal laws do not set forth limits for the overall vehicle length, trailer length, vehicle height or vehicle width. States may impose their own standards.

Click here to review federal trucking regulations in detail.

Nevada Trucking Laws

The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) is responsible for regulating trucking operations, and sets forth vehicle size and weight limits as well as regulations that apply to truck drivers and trucking companies. This includes the following:

  • Trucks may not exceed 14 feet in height, 102 inches in width and 70 feet in length (except with special permits).
  • The following weight limits apply on all routes in Nevada: 20,000 pounds for single-axle vehicles, 34,000 for tandem axle vehicles and 42,000 for triple-axle vehicles. Different weight limits may apply on bridges or other special roadways.
  • Trucks may not have gross vehicle weights exceeding 80,000 pounds, except with special permit.
  • You must have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) to operate a commercial motor vehicle. You must be at least 21 years of age to obtain a CDL for interstate and must be at least 25 years old to drive a vehicle that is greater than 70 feet in length.
  • If you have a CDL, you must agree to blood alcohol testing if pulled over for suspected drunk driving.
  • It is illegal to operate a commercial vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .04% or greater. This is half the .08% limit that applies to other drivers.
  • If you are found to have any detectable amount of alcohol in your system while driving a commercial vehicle, you will be restricted from driving for a 24-hour period.

Take this opportunity to learn more about the trucking regulations that apply to commercial drivers in Nevada, and find out what you can do if you were injured in a truck accident. Contact Shook & Stone today for your free case evaluation. We help clients across Las Vegas.