Interstate vs. Intrastate Trucking

Sharing the road with large commercial vehicles is not uncommon, as trucks play a crucial role in the economy. However, you might not know that some trucks are meant to travel across state lines (interstate), while others are only allowed to travel within state lines (intrastate).

But what exactly is the difference between these two types of trucking, and how does this detail affect you in a trucking collision? A skilled truck accident attorney can assist you with your case, regardless of the circumstances. Here’s what you need to know about interstate vs. intrastate trucking in Pennsylvania.

The Differences Between Interstate and Intrastate Trucking

There are major differences between interstate and intrastate trucking. These differences can play a significant role in your case if you’re injured in a trucking accident. 

Interstate Trucking

Interstate trucking involves crossing state lines. Drivers engaged in interstate trucking can drive across states and even cross national borders into Canada or Mexico. 

Truck drivers participate in interstate trucking in two ways. First, truckers engage in interstate trucking when they drive their freight across multiple states. 

The second way, which is often overlooked, is driving freight within state lines when the final destination is elsewhere. Even if a driver only participates in one leg of the trip in one state, that could still be considered interstate travel. 

Intrastate Trucking

Simply put, intrastate trucking involves trucking within state lines. Truck drivers who drive trucks intrastate do not cross borders into neighboring states and only travel on roads and highways within their state.

Trucks Used for Interstate and Intrastate Trucking

Interstate and intrastate trucking can involve a wide variety of large vehicles. The vehicle used usually depends on the type of freight and amount of product truck drivers are transporting.

Special trucking laws apply to several types of trucks used for interstate and intrastate trucking, including:

Whether certain laws apply to a particular truck depends on numerous details, including the weight of the truck and whether the truck is transporting passengers or hazardous materials. 

Insurance Requirements for Interstate vs. Intrastate Trucking

Insurance requirements vary, depending on whether the truck remains within state lines or travels across the country.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has certain insurance requirements for trucks crossing state and national borders. Coverage depends on details like the truck’s weight and the type of freight, but coverage minimums generally include:

  • $750,000 for non-hazardous freight in trucks weighing greater than 10,001 pounds
  • 300,000 for non-hazardous freight in trucks weighing less than 10,001 pounds
  • $1,500,000 for vehicles transporting passengers with a seating capacity of 15 or less
  • $5 million for hazardous materials transported by private carriers

For intrastate trucking, insurance varies by state. In Pennsylvania, insurance coverage minimums are set forth by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PAPUC). 

All Truck Drivers Must Operate With a Duty of Care

Regardless of whether a driver is participating in interstate or intrastate travel, they owe others on the road a duty of care. Accidents are more likely to happen when truck drivers violate this duty of care. 

Common causes of trucking accidents — including distracted driving, speeding, and driving while impaired — all violate this duty of care and increase the chances of serious, catastrophic injuries.

If you suffer harm in a trucking collision in Carbondale or elsewhere in Pennsylvania, it’s important not to hesitate to seek legal assistance from a qualified truck accident attorney. 

A lawyer who regularly handles these types of collision cases has a thorough understanding of the special laws and regulations involved with the trucking industry, which can help you secure a favorable result.

Contact Marzzacco Niven & Associates at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today:  

Marzzacco Niven & Associates – Harrisburg Office
945 East Park Drive, Suite 103 Harrisburg, PA 17111
(717) 231-1640

Marzzacco Niven & Associates – York Office
2550 Kingston Road, Suite 210A York, PA 17401
(717) 995-8998

Marzzacco Niven & Associates – Wyomissing Office
833 N. Park Road, Suite 103, Room A Wyomissing, PA 19610
(717) 388-2325

Marzzacco Niven & Associates – Chambersburg Office
79 St. Paul Drive, Suite 1 Chambersburg, PA 17201
(717) 388-2378

Marzzacco Niven & Associates – Carlisle Office
354 Alexander Springs Road Carlisle, PA 17015
(717) 995-8732

Marzzacco Niven & Associates – Carbondale Office
30 Lincoln Avenue, Suite 101 Carbondale, PA 18407
(717) 995-8810

Marzzacco Niven & Associates – Lancaster Office
2173 Embassy Drive, Ste 123, Lancaster Pa 17603
(717) 616-2954

Marzzacco Niven & Associates – Lebanon Office
937 Willow Street, Suite D Lebanon
(717) 995-8963