Trucking Regulations in Florida
Federal Regulations on the Trucking Industry
With so many millions of trucks operating in the United States today, it
comes as no surprise that these trucks are responsible for many accidents
each and every year. In fact, a person in the U.S. is either injured or
killed in an accident with a large truck every 16 minutes. Large tractor-trailers
and big-rigs are some of the most potentially dangerous vehicles on the
road today, and it is for this reason that the federal government created
certain regulations and rules to keep other drivers safe. Both truck drivers
and trucking companies must abide by a range of federal motor carrier
regulations, and a failure to do so may result in serious penalties.
These regulations provide guidance for everything from the size and weight
limits for certain trucks, to workplace drug and alcohol testing, and
the number of hours a truck driver can stay behind the wheel every day.
Here at Weinstein & Scharf, P.A., we have handled enough
truck accident cases to know that in many cases, accidents are caused because these regulations
have been violated. We conduct thorough investigations of every accident
to determine the exact factors that were to blame, and we can help you
gather evidence so that you can file a
personal injury claim for compensation.
Florida Trucking Regulations
The dedicated legal team at our firm believes in holding negligent truck
drivers and careless trucking companies accountable when they are responsible
for serious accidents. Over the years, we have proven that we are not
afraid to hold large trucking companies accountable, and we never back
down from a fight. Some of the key regulations that may have an impact
on your case include the following:
Alcohol and/or Drugs
Commercial truck drivers are held to tougher standards regarding alcohol
and drugs than other drivers because their vehicles have the potential
to cause greater harm. Drivers with a Commercial Driver's License
(CDL) will be guilty of violating the law if they have a BAC of .04% or
higher. To ensure that drivers are complying with federal regulations,
trucking companies are required to test drivers before they hire them
and must conduct random testing throughout the year as well. After a truck
accident, truck drivers are subject to blood alcohol testing through breath
tests or other chemical tests. Federal regulations state that truck drivers
cannot operate a commercial motor vehicle for four hours after consuming
alcohol, and there are also guidelines for taking prescription drugs.
Also known as hours-of-service regulations, these driving time limits
were designed to keep fatigued drivers from causing accidents. Truck drivers
are not allowed to work more than 14 hours a day, including driving and
non-driving duties, and they can drive for a maximum of 11 of these hours.
Commercial truck drivers are then required to take 10 consecutive hours
off work before they can drive again. In order to ensure that drivers
are following these rules, they are required to document their hours and
mileage in a driving log. Despite these rules, some drivers choose to
drive more hours than they are allowed to meet stiff deadlines or make
up for lost time. Many of the truck accidents in Florida are related to
fatigue, and our attorneys examine these logs carefully and thoroughly
to determine if a truck driver broke the law.
Florida law regulates the size and weight of each truck and load that
passes through the state, and this is to ensure safety on all of Florida's
roads and bridges. Due to age, condition or design, these roads have a
weight limit of 10 tons and an axle weight limit of 5 tons. There are
other differing limits and regulations depending on the size and length
of the tractor trailer, and you can find more information
here. Weight limits also affect the cost of transportation, which is the main
reason why trucking companies may break regulations and try to make more money.
Truck Maintenance and Repairs
Large commercial trucks are complex pieces of machinery that require frequent
maintenance and regular safety inspections. When done correctly, these
regular checkups can prevent a tire blowout or another defect that causes
an accident. Federal regulations provide inspection standards that must
be followed for each commercial motor carrier, but all too often trucking
companies skimp on doing proper maintenance. Many truck drivers are not
educated on how to maintain their truck or fix minor repairs, and this
can lead to severe accidents in the future. If you suspect that poor truck
maintenance is to blame for your accident, our firm can look into whether
or not the trucking company kept adequate records of their maintenance
and repairs on their trucks.
Why hire a truck accident lawyer?
In the aftermath of a serious truck accident, you may be confused about
what to do and how to start your accident claim. It is both wise and beneficial
to hire a truck accident attorney from the start so that you don't
have to worry about losing valuable evidence or going the wrong direction
with your case. Our team has extensive experience helping accident victims
in Coral Springs and throughout Florida, and you can rest assured knowing
that your case is in the right hands with us. Call now!