Texas Auto Collision Lawyers
Texas Auto Collision Lawyers
Large trucks, buses, and similar vehicles are necessary to commerce and transportation. However, a collision involving a commercial truck or bus is often more serious than accidents involving smaller vehicles. This is because commercial vehicles are much larger than cars and more difficult to maneuver.
In the interest of keeping everyone safe, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has created special regulations that truck drivers, as well as the companies that employ them, must follow. These regulations apply to vehicles weighing 10,001 pounds or more, designed to transport nine passengers including the driver or 16 not including the driver, or carrying a significant quantity of hazardous waste.
Why are these trucks and their drivers subject to specialized regulations? Partially because collisions involving these large vehicles tend to be catastrophic. If you’ve been harmed as a result of an accident with a large commercial truck, please contact an auto accident lawyer Houston, TX residents trust as soon as you possibly can. The Texas auto collision lawyers at John K. Zaid & Associates can help you to better understand your legal options and to understand how the specialized regulations that apply to large trucks may impact your case uniquely.
Drug and Alcohol
Unless it is cargo, truck drivers cannot carry alcohol with them in their truck. They may not have any drugs or alcohol in their system that could affect ability to drive during a shift or for up to eight hours beforehand. Whereas the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration for most drivers is 0.08% (except in Utah, where it is 0.05%), the legal limit for commercial drivers is much lower at 0.02%. Drivers are subject to testing and can lose their jobs if they refuse the test or fail it.
Hours of Service
Accidents are much more likely to occur when the driver is fatigued. Therefore, FMCSA regulations limit the number of hours that drivers can be on the road and require them to take a minimum amount of rest time in between.
Electronic Logging Device
In the past, drivers were required to keep track of their own hours of service by hand in a logbook. This was less than ideal because the logbooks were easy to falsify and were simply prone to human error. An electronic logging device is a relatively new requirement that keeps track of hours of service much more effectively. They connect directly to the truck’s engine and are difficult to tamper with, giving a more accurate account of the amount of time that the driver has spent on the road. Our Texas auto collision lawyers can gain access to the device records of the truck that was involved in your accident so that we can determine if an hours of service infraction may have played a part in your collision.
In addition to drugged or drowsy driving, distracted driving is one of the major causes of accidents. For this reason, while there are provisions for hands-free devices when necessary, the FMCSA prohibits commercial drivers from any use of handheld mobile phones.
If your accident occurred because of a violation of one or more of these special regulations, you may be able to recover damages. However, you will need proof that the violation occurred. One of our Texas auto collision lawyers can guide you through the process of filing an insurance claim and/or lawsuit against the driver and/or trucking company. Contact our office for more information. We look forward to speaking with you.