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Commercial Truck Rules in Texas

Commercial Truck Rules in Texas

Annually, approximately 5,750 commercial motor vehicles are involved in crashes in Harris County, Texas, alone. That’s a number that can be particularly frustrating, in large part due to the large amount of commercial truck rules in Texas meant to prevent accidents. 

Nevertheless, if you’ve been in a truck accident in Houston, TX, you can turn to Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers for help. We’ve obtained record-setting verdicts and settlements totaling billions of dollars. Now, we’re here to fight for you.

Contact our law office at (888) 603-3636 or contact us online to schedule a free case consultation with an undefeated Houston truck accident lawyer. 

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How Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers Can Help You After a Truck Accident in Houston, TX


A truck accident is a serious and dangerous turn of events that can result in severe injuries and even fatalities. As such, if you are a surviving victim of such a crash, it is essential that you turn to truck accident lawyers who are ready to help you through such a traumatic and difficult time. 

At Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers in Houston, Texas, we provide our clients with the following:

  • Claim assessments during free consultations
  • Thorough investigations and evidence-gathering 
  • Negotiations with insurance companies and other parties
  • Court representation as needed

We’re ready to assess your claim and see how we can help you get compensation after suffering injuries and other losses because of someone else’s negligence. Reach out to our award-winning Houston personal injury lawyers today to discuss your legal options. 

Understanding Trucking Laws in Texas

Most trucking involves some form of interstate commerce, which means the federal government is involved with regard to trucking laws and regulations. However, Texas is in a unique position in the United States due to its border with Mexico, which often complicates matters. 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the organization that enforces federal trucking regulations throughout the country, including Texas. 

These regulations apply to four types of vehicles:

  • Buses designed to carry more than eight people for a fare
  • Buses designed to carry more than 15 people for no fare
  • Trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 10,000 pounds
  • Trucks used to transport hazardous materials

The FMCSA also places rules on how many hours a truck driver can drive using “hours of service” laws. A driver has to have ten consecutive hours off-duty before starting any driving shift. Then, they can only be on duty for 14 consecutive hours. A driver can also only drive 11 hours at a time. After eight consecutive hours of driving, the driver can stop for 30 minutes. 

However, if the truck isn’t leaving Texas, the rules are slightly different, as they switch to those enforced by the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT). These are generally much more business-friendly, but they can put other people on the road at risk because of what they demand from the driver. 

According to the Texas DOT, a driver has to have been off-duty for eight consecutive hours before beginning a shift, and they can be on-duty for 15 consecutive hours. They may only drive 12 hours at a time. On-duty time can involve loading, maintenance, and other non-driving activities.  

Common Causes of Commercial Truck Accidents in Houston, TX

Truck accidents can occur for a variety of reasons, but one of the most common is driver fatigue. With the more relaxed regulations that Texas allows for truck drivers and the companies that employ them, overworking can become a serious concern. 

When a driver is tired or sleepy, their attention wanders. They may not notice sudden changes on the road or even spot hazardous conditions. In the worst cases, truck drivers can fall asleep at the wheel and lose control of their vehicles, leading to catastrophic consequences. 

Driver distraction is another common issue that impacts everyone on the road. A distracted truck driver, however, can cause serious accidents.

Malfunctioning truck parts are also a common cause of Houston truck accidents. Many times, companies cut corners on maintenance, resulting in grave consequences. A driver can lose control of their truck or not be able to properly apply the brakes, along with so many other possible disaster scenarios. In these instances, it’s not necessarily the driver who’s to blame but the company that employs them.

Overloaded cargo is another reason why many truck accidents occur in Texas. If cargo isn’t loaded correctly, it can shift during transport, causing the truck’s weight to become unbalanced. An unbalanced truck can easily tip over.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Undefeated Houston Truck Accident Attorneys – Call 888-603-3636

Living through something as intense as a truck accident can leave you with severe physical and mental trauma. But if the accident wasn’t your fault, you shouldn’t have to deal with the consequences on your own. 

At Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers, we offer help for those dealing with medical expenses, property damage, and other losses as a result of a truck accident. We have years of experience providing guidance to people in Houston, Texas, and we can help you, too. Contact our Houston personal injury attorneys today for a free initial consultation.