Nevada Truck Accident Laws & Regulations

State and federal laws and regulations are in place to ensure that heavy commercial vehicles operate safely on public roads and highways in Nevada. When truck drivers and trucking companies violate these laws and regulations, they risk causing devastating accidents that leave innocent people with catastrophic injuries.

If you’ve suffered injuries due to the negligence of a truck driver, trucking company, or another entity, the Nevada truck accident attorneys at Swenson & Shelley are ready to investigate the incident, determine if anyone broke laws and regulations, and fight to hold the at-fault parties accountable.

Our firm is dedicated to fighting for truck accident victims like you. If you decide to work with our firm, our nationally recognized trial attorneys can manage every detail of your truck accident claim, allowing you to focus on your physical and mental recovery. With our long track record of standing up to the big trucking companies, you can rest assured that your case and your rights and interests are in good hands.

If you have been injured in a truck crash in Nevada, reach out to the personal injury firm of Swenson & Shelley for a free initial case evaluation. An experienced Nevada truck accident lawyer from our firm can answer your questions and help you understand your options for pursuing financial recovery.  We dedicate our law practice to the relentless pursuit of justice for truck accident victims.TM

Nevada Truck Speed Limit

On most interstates and highways outside of urban areas, Nevada imposes a speed limit of 75 mph. Sections of interstates and highways that run through urban areas typically have speed limits of 65 mph. However, some portions of Interstate 80 in Nevada have a higher speed limit of 80 mph.

Truck drivers must still observe lower speed limits where posted.

Nevada Truck Weight Limits

Commercial trucks must have gross vehicle weights below certain limits to operate as of right in Nevada. Trucks that exceed weight limits must obtain an overweight truck permit from the Nevada Department of Transportation.

Weight limits vary based on the number of axles the truck has and the distance between its front-most and rear-most axles. These limits are as follows:

  • Two axles, which may have a minimum distance of four feet: Between 34,000 and 40,000 pounds
  • Three axles, which may have a minimum distance of eight feet: Between 42,000 and 60,000 pounds
  • Four axles, which may have a minimum distance of 12 feet: Between 50,000 and 80,000 pounds
  • Five axles, which may have a minimum distance of 16 feet: Between 58,000 and 100,000 pounds
  • Six axles, which may have a minimum distance of 20 feet: Between 66,000 and 120,000 pounds
  • Seven axles, which may have a minimum distance of 24 feet: Between 74,000 and 129,000 pounds
  • Eight axles, which may have a minimum distance of 28 feet: Between 82,000 and 129,000 pounds
  • Nine or more axles, which may have a minimum distance of 32 feet: Between 90,000 and 129,000 pounds

Nevada law also limits the amount of weight that can be placed on any single axle or tire:

  • Single axle: 20,000 pounds
  • Tandem axle: 34,000 pounds
  • Tire on a steering axle: 600 pounds per inch
  • Tire on a non-steering axle: 500 pounds per inch

Nevada Truck Size Limits

Commercial trucks in Nevada must also meet dimensional limitations on their height, width, and length. Trucks that exceed these limits are required to obtain an oversize load permit. Size limits for trucks under Nevada law include:

  • Height, including load: 14 feet, except for trucks carrying baled hay, which have a limit of 15 feet
  • Length: 70 feet, except for motor vehicle transporters; combinations of truck-tractors drawing semitrailers and trailers that each do not exceed 28.5 feet in length; or truck-tractors drawing a semitrailer that does not exceed 53 feet in length. A truck’s load may not extend more than 10 feet from the front or rear of the truck or a total of 10 feet from the front and rear of the truck, such that the total length of the truck, including load, may not exceed 75 feet.
  • Width: 102 inches, although pneumatic tires may extend the total width to 108 inches, and any required lights or devices may extend out 10 inches with the total width not exceeding 126 inches.

Nevada CDL Requirements

A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required to lawfully operate a commercial truck in Nevada. In Nevada, CDLs come in three classes, which designate the type and weight of the vehicle that the license holder may operate. These classes are:

  • Class A: Permits operation of any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more, where the gross vehicle weight of the vehicle or vehicles being towed exceeds 10,000 pounds.
  • Class B: Allows operation of any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more or any single vehicle towing another vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less.
  • Class C: Permits operation of any single vehicle or combination of vehicles not covered by a Class A or B CDL

In addition to the class of CDL, drivers may also obtain endorsements that allow them to operate specific types of vehicles or to carry certain kinds of cargo after passing any required knowledge or skills tests. Examples of endorsements available on a Nevada CDL include:

  • T: Allows operation of vehicles with double or triple trailers
  • N: Permits operation of a tanker truck
  • H: Allows a driver to haul hazardous materials
  • X: Allows a driver to haul hazardous materials stored in a tanker

An applicant for a Nevada CDL must meet certain requirements, including that they must:

  • Be at least 21years old or 25 years old to drive an over-length vehicle (applicants between 18 and 20 years old may be granted a CDL for intrastate commerce only)
  • Provide proof of identity, age, citizenship, or lawful permanent residency in the U.S., and Nevada residency
  • Pass a written knowledge test
  • Pass a vision test and undergo a medical exam performed by a Certified Medical Examiner, unless the applicant certified that they are excepted from the medical exam requirement
  • Surrender their current driver’s license, as a CDL also authorizes a driver to operate a personal passenger vehicle

Someone learning to drive a commercial truck may obtain a commercial learner permit, which remains valid for 180 days to allow the driver to undergo on-road training.

Nevada Truck Inspection Requirements

State law requires truck drivers to inspect their vehicles before and after any trip. Drivers must also draft a written vehicle inspection report each day. The trucking company must keep the report on file. Checklist items that drivers must cover during any vehicle inspection include:

  • Tires
  • Wheels and rims
  • Brakes
  • Steering system
  • Suspension
  • Exhaust system
  • Emergency equipment
  • Cargo

State or federal inspectors may also stop and inspect a commercial truck at any time. If the truck fails inspection, it can be pulled out of service until any deficiencies are fixed.

Understanding Federal Trucking Regulations

In addition to requirements for commercial trucks and truck drivers under Nevada state law, many truck drivers must also comply with federal trucking regulations. For example, any truck driver who obtains a hazardous materials endorsement on their CDL must also pass TSA security clearance.

Among the most crucial federal trucking regulations are the hours-of-service rules. These regulations limit how long a truck driver may spend on duty or on the road. Important hours-of-service regulations stipulate that:

  • Drivers may not drive more than 11 total hours. This limit resets after spending at least 10 consecutive hours off-duty.
  • Drivers may not drive after the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty following an off-duty period of at least 10 straight
  • Drivers must take a break of at least 30 minutes after driving eight hours without a 30-minute break. The break may be spent on-duty but not driving, off-duty, in the sleeper berth, or any combination thereof.
  • Drivers are not permitted to drive after having been on duty for a total of 60 hours in any seven-day period or a total of 70 hours in any eight-day period. These seven/eight-day periods restart following an off-duty period of at least 34 consecutive hours.
  • Drivers may split their required 10-hour off-duty period both in and out of the sleeper birth, so long as one period of at least seven hours is spent in the sleeper berth and a period of at least two hours is spent in or out of the sleeper berth.
  • The 11-hour and 14-hour limits may be extended by up to two hours if a driver encounters adverse driving conditions.

Truck drivers are exempted from the hours-of-service regulations if they only operate within a 150-air mile radius of their work reporting location, do not spend more than 14 hours on duty, and return to their work reporting location at the end of their duty shift.

Hurt in a Truck Accident? Contact Our Attorneys Today

After you have been hurt in a truck accident due to a negligent truck driver or trucking company, get the legal help you need to pursue compensation and justice. Contact Swenson & Shelley today for a free, no-obligation consultation with a Nevada truck accident lawyer who can help you understand your rights and demand the money you deserve.