The biggest difference between interstate and intrastate trucking is:
- Interstate trucking is when a vehicle goes between multiple states.
- Intrastate trucking is when a vehicle only travels in one state.
If a trucker is going between multiple states, they need to abide by the rules set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). However, if they’re traveling in the same state, they must follow the rules imposed by that state.
What Trucks Do Interstate and Intrastate Trucking Laws Apply To?
Interstate and intrastate trucking laws generally apply to these vehicles:
- Semi-trailer trucks
- Flatbed trucks
- Garbage trucks
- Box trucks
- Certain types of minivans
- Trucks used for construction
- Refrigerator trucks
- Panel trucks
- Tanker trucks
Whether a law applies to a certain truck depends on whether the vehicle is transporting hazardous materials, weighs a certain amount, or transports passengers.
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Other Differences Between Intrastate and Interstate Trucking
Here are some additional differences between intrastate and interstate trucking:
Interstate Trucks Need USDOT Numbers
Per the FMCSA, all interstate commercial trucks need USDOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) numbers. However, only some interstate trucks do, including ones in Georgia. Failure to properly apply for and display a USDOT number can lead to legal consequences for the trucker and the trucking company.
Some Interstate Trucks Need Operating Authority Numbers
According to the FMCSA, some trucking companies must also acquire an interstate Operating Authority number before drivers operate commercial vehicles. Companies in this situation require both an MC number and a DOT number to legally engage in interstate commerce.
Generally, companies require an MC number if they transport passengers across state lines. Companies may also require this number if they move commodities regulated by the federal government.
Intrastate Truckers Must Take Certain Medical Exams
Per the Georgia Department of Public Safety, truckers must acquire a medical examiner’s certificate if they operate a vehicle over 10,001 pounds. These medical examinations require truckers to report whether they have any missing limbs, have diabetes, or other conditions that could impair their driving ability.
Intrastate Truckers Must Adhere to Various State-Related Regulations
Truck drivers have to adhere to a number of other regulations when operating in Georgia. They must:
- Carry a fire extinguisher
- Have stopped vehicle warning devices
- Keep their time records on hand
- Perform pre-trip inspections
- Keep an annual mechanical inspection on their vehicle (and have written documentation)
- Complete post-trip inspections
Truckers are not permitted to have a radar detector in their vehicles, either.
All Truckers Must Operate Vehicles with a Duty of Care
All truckers must operate with a duty of care, meaning with reasonable prudence. This means refraining from:
- Drunk driving
- Fatigued driving
- Ignoring traffic signals and guidelines
- Distracted driving
- Road rage
If a truck driver partakes in any of these behaviors and causes an accident, they could bear financial liability for any resulting damages.
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Why Are These Laws Governing How Trucks Operate?
Interstate and intrastate trucking laws have one goal: to keep road users safe. In doing so, these laws:
- Limit how many people go to the hospital for truck accident related-injuries
- Cut down on congested traffic caused by collisions
- Limit trucking companies’ financial losses
- Limit any disruptions to supply chains
If a trucker (or their trucking company) fails to abide by either state or federal trucking laws, they could face license suspension, government sanctions, and other consequences. A trucking company could also lose the ability to legally operate, leading to the loss of jobs and revenue.
You Can Partner with a Truck Accident Lawyer Following a Collision in Georgia
After an accident with a truck driver, you can reach out to a truck accident lawyer for help building a claim or lawsuit. Lawyers take on claims involving both interstate and intrastate truckers, focusing on the reasons for the accident and your expenses.
A truck accident lawyer can:
- Apply state and federal laws to your collision case
- Determine what you’re owed from the liable party
- Assess the cost and scope of your losses
- Advise you on your legal options
- Explain the difference between interstate and intrastate trucking
Your lawyer can also file your potential lawsuit within the statute of limitations. Per O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33, if you were involved in a truck accident, you generally have two years to file your case. This deadline could be shorter if you were hit by a truck owned and operated by a government agency.
You Have Legal Options with Bader Scott Injury Lawyers
Regardless of whether you suffered harm because of an interstate or intrastate truck, you have the right to pursue compensation for your losses. Compensation in your case could include your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers advocates for truck accident claimants throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area. To explore your legal options, begin your free case review today. During our conversation, we can also discuss the differences between interstate and intrastate trucking.