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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.