Thousands of tractor trailer trucks carry goods all across North America every day, making commercial over-the-road carriers an essential part of commerce today. Yet not all trucks can go all places, with some restricted to intrastate travel, while others are cleared for interstate travel. The laws of interstate or intrastate travel differ, especially concerning trucking regulations and truck accidents. 18 wheeler accidents involving interstate trucks are subject to many more rules than those involving intrastate ones.

The Difference Between Interstate and Intrastate

Interstate and intrastate have two different meanings. Interstate means traveling through two or more states. Intrastate means traveling within the boundaries of only one state. These two terms are critical to the commercial trucking industry, as there are many federal and insurance regulations that apply to each.

How Interstate and Intrastate Applies to Commercial Trucks

Trucks licensed, registered, inspected, and insured for interstate use can obviously drive through any state to deliver their goods. Similarly, those licensed, registered, inspected, and insured for intrastate use must stay within the boundaries of the state where the truck is licensed and insured; however, there is an overlap that is critical, especially regarding 18 wheeler accidents.

When determining whether a truck is being used for interstate or intrastate commerce, the origination and destination of the delivery load also comes into play. What this means is that the load itself is also classified as interstate or intrastate. Therefore, an intrastate truck must always carry an intrastate load, which means goods must originate within and be delivered to a destination within the same state. Interstate goods moving through a state must be moved using an interstate truck, even if goods are picked up and delivered within the same state.

Why Interstate and Intrastate Matters

There are three main reasons why interstate and intrastate regulations matter when it comes to shipping goods and concerning truck accidents:

  1. Because interstate trucks typically travel much longer distances than intrastate ones, there are many more federal regulations that apply to these trucks.
  2. Similar Federal regulations apply to the goods being shipped across state lines and the vehicles used to carry those goods.
  3. Most importantly in terms of 18 wheeler accidents is that commercial trucks must be insured according to whether they are being used for interstate or intrastate transport.

A truck accident claim involving an intrastate truck that is either out of state boundaries or carrying an interstate load may be rejected by an insurance company, since the truck was being used outside of regulations and how it was insured. This can be a critical issue in any trucking company’s liability protection and can drastically affect any injury claims filed against the trucking company as well.

When truck accidents happen, one of the many details that accident attorneys will determine is whether or not the truck involved in the accident was operating properly as an interstate or intrastate vehicle. 18 wheeler accidents that occur outside of the truck’s legal regulations may require the help of experienced accident lawyers who will need to consider all the ways to obtain a settlement from the trucking company if insurance problems become an issue!

Pearland, Pasadena, Webster, League City, Webster, Manvel, Alvin, Friendswood, La Marque, Texas City, and Galveston

Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP

Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law

J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law

7830 Broadway, Suite 122

Pearland TX 77581

Phone: (281) 408-2190

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