California Trucking Regulations

Large commercial trucks are the lifeblood of the economies of California and the US. This has become particularly evident as the country has gone through a supply chain crisis caused by the pandemic and other international incidents. It is important to understand that there are various regulations in place in order to ensure that these large trucks are operated safely. These regulations affect truck drivers as well as trucking companies.

The General Regulations Surrounding the Commercial Trucking Industry

There are various federal and state regulations that guide truckers and trucking companies towards remaining safe on the roadway.

Commercial Truck Insurance

Every commercial truck must follow the insurance requirements set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in order to operate vehicles across state lines. The total amount of insurance required for a truck driver depends on the vehicle weight and on the types of material being hauled:

  • $300,000 liability insurance if the vehicle is under 10,000 pounds and carrying non-hazardous cargo
  • $750,000 to $5,000,000 for any commercial truck weighing more than 10,000 pounds (the dollar difference depends on whether or not hazardous or non-hazardous material is being carried)
  • $10,000 per trip for carrying household goods
  • $5,000 per truck for carrying household goods

Truck Driver Requirements

Every truck driver in California must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). California drivers must have a CDL issued by this state, and any driver operating a commercial truck across state lines from elsewhere must have a CDL issued by their respective state.

Additionally, every trucking company should ensure that their driver is ready to handle the vehicle that they are asked to operate. This includes additional driver training aside from what is required to obtain a CDL.

Following the Hours of Service

All commercial truck drivers are restricted to operating a certain amount of hours during each day and each workweek. Drivers must operate within a 14-hour window each day, of which they can only operate the vehicle for 11 total driving hours. Drivers can only restore a 14-hour driving window after they have been off duty for 10 hours. 

During a seven-day workweek, drivers can operate for 60 total driving hours. During an eight-day workweek, drivers can operate for 70 total hours. A workweek is reset after a driver takes 34 or more hours off duty.

Vehicle Safety

Large commercial trucks must undergo regular inspections and maintenance. Additionally, truck owners must handle any emergency repairs as needed, regardless of whether or not the truck is up for scheduled maintenance. These vehicles can cause significant injuries if any single part or multiple systems fail. Regular inspections help ensure these vehicles are safe for regular roadway use.

Work With a Truck Accident Lawyer

If you or somebody you care about has been injured in an accident involving a large commercial truck in California, reach out to an attorney immediately. A truck accident lawyer in Santa Ana can handle every aspect of your claim, including negotiations with aggressive insurance carriers to ensure that you recover full compensation for your losses. Individuals should be able to recover compensation for their medical bills, property damage, and pain and suffering losses if the crash was caused by the actions of a truck driver or trucking carrier.