Nevada law defines a motor carrier as a vehicle that weighs more than 13 tons when full, or that can carry at least 16 passengers, including the driver. In other words, it is what you and I would call a truck or a bus. This explains, first, why trucking accidents can be so catastrophic, and, second, why the regulations about trucks and truck driving are so strict.
Even in a state where the terrain is flat, it requires a lot of skill to operate such a big vehicle. Imagine what it is like to drive a truck in a mountainous state like Nevada. The Long Haul by Finn Murphy gives a hair-raising account of driving a truck in the mountains. The parts of his book where he is driving downhill read like they should be the basis for an action movie, but actually, most of the book describes him tinkering with various parts of his truck and its load in order to meet federal and state safety regulations.
If truckers like Murphy did not put so much time into maintaining their vehicles, keeping records, and otherwise being mindful of safety regulations, there would be a lot more truck accidents than there are. The following are some of the rules that truck drivers in Nevada must follow.
Age Requirements for Truck Drivers in Nevada
The minimum age for driving a motor carrier in Nevada depends on the size of the vehicle and its intended use. Here are some of the specific requirements:
- The minimum age to get a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), the type of license required to drive a truck in Nevada is 18. At this age, though, you can only drive a truck within the state of Nevada, no interstate truck driving. Likewise, you cannot transport passengers or hazardous materials in a motor carrier.
- The minimum age at which a Nevada CDL holder can drive a truck on interstate trips is 21. At this age, you can also carry passengers or hazardous materials.
If the truck you are driving is more than 70 feet long, you must be at least 25 years old to drive it. The length includes both the cab and the trailer.
Mandatory Rest Periods
Truck drivers in Nevada, whether they are licensed in Nevada or whether they are interstate truckers just passing through, must abide by the federal laws mandating rest periods for truck drivers. A truck driver’s shift can be no longer than 14 hours. During that shift, the driver cannot go more than 11 hours without a break. A truck driver cannot work for more than 77 hours in one week. It can be tempting for drivers to skip breaks or to work longer shifts to cover as much ground as possible in one day, especially since it takes more effort to stop and restart a truck than it does to keep driving. Taking the required breaks is important, though, since driving while fatigued is very dangerous.
Contact Brock Ohlson About Trucking Accidents
Despite all the regulations designed to prevent truck accidents, they still happen. Contact Brock Ohlson, Nevada’s Personal Injury Lawyer, if you have been injured in a trucking accident.