Mark Roman | March 15, 2022 | Truck Accidents
The trucking industry is responsible for moving billions of dollars of goods throughout the country each year. Because commercial trucking is a large industry and involves interstate commerce, there are many federal regulations that truck drivers and trucking companies must follow.
Many trucking regulations are safety laws designed to reduce the number of large truck accidents each year. Trucking regulations you should know if you’re injured in a semi-truck accident are discussed below.
Hours of Service
The number of hours a truck driver may operate a commercial vehicle is limited by federal Hours of Service regulations. For example, truck drivers are limited to driving 11 hours after taking ten consecutive hours off duty. In addition, they are limited to driving 60 hours on duty in seven consecutive days.
Florida has Hours of Service regulations for truck drivers who operate solely within the state. The hours of service are similar to the federal hours of service.
State and federal hours of service help reduce the risk of a fatigued driving accident. Unfortunately, truck drivers often break the rules.
Trucking companies and shippers often set unrealistic deadlines. Trucking companies are required to schedule loads with time for safe delivery, but many disregard this regulation.
Drug & Alcohol Testing
The FMCSA and the DOT require commercial truck drivers and their employers to follow drug and alcohol testing rules. Drugged and drunk driving is extremely dangerous in a semi-truck. Even a small amount of drugs or alcohol could impair a truck driver’s ability to operate the truck safely.
Lower Legal BAC Limit for Commercial Drivers
The national legal limit for drunk driving in the United States is .08% BAC. However, truck drivers have a lower legal limit because large truck accidents are more likely to cause catastrophic injuries and death.
The law presumes that commercial truck drivers are too intoxicated to operate a truck safely if their BAC is .04% or higher. A truck driver could be charged with driving under the influence for having any alcohol in their system if the alcohol impairs their abilities to drive safely.
Pre-Trip Truck and Trailer Inspection
The federal regulations require a pre-trip inspection of trucks. The pre-trip inspection ensures that the systems and parts are in good working order, including brake connections, lighting devices, horns, rear-vision mirrors, and several other systems. Failing to perform a pre-trip check could contribute to a truck accident if a system fails.
Traffic Laws Must Be Obeyed in All States of Travel
Truck drivers are expected to know and follow the traffic laws of the state in which they are driving. Therefore, if a truck driver leaves Florida and drives to Maine, he would need to know and follow all traffic laws for each state he passes through.
How Do Trucking Regulations Affect My Truck Accident Case in Florida?
The above safety regulations for the trucking industry are just a few of the many trucking regulations. Truck drivers and trucking companies are responsible for knowing and following all regulations.
Truck accidents occur for various reasons, including violations of safety regulations. Negligence is often involved when a truck driver or trucking company violates a trucking safety regulation. The violation could be used as evidence in proving the party’s negligence.
For example, truck drivers could be deemed negligent in causing a truck accident if they drove under the influence of drugs or alcohol because they were above the legal BAC limit for commercial truck drivers. They could also be found negligent for a crash if they were driving while fatigued because they exceeded the hours of service limits. Additionally, they could be guilty of falsifying their logbooks to cover up the fact that they are driving too many hours without breaks or sleep.
Trucking companies may be found negligent by requiring drivers to exceed the hours of service limit or failing to perform required drug and alcohol tests. The companies may be negligent if they do not adequately train their drivers or conduct thorough background checks. Companies that do not maintain their trucks and equipment could also be held liable in a truck accident case.
Filing a Truck Accident Claim for Damages
Truck accident cases are complicated. They involve complex federal and state trucking regulations. The accidents generally involve multiple parties, meaning multiple insurance providers are trying to avoid liability for the accident.
Trucking companies and their insurance providers can overwhelm individuals filing a claim without an attorney. Hiring an experienced Tampa truck accident lawyer evens the playing field.
A truck accident attorney has the resources and skills to investigate the crash. The lawyer works with expert witnesses to gather evidence of fault and liability and knows how to deal with insurance companies’ tactics.
An individual may have difficulty investigating a truck crash and preparing a claim without a lawyer. It’s more difficult if they cannot hire experts and are out of work recovering from the truck accident.
Contact the Clearwater Truck Accident Law Firm of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
For more information, please contact the legal team of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation with a truck accident lawyer in Clearwater. We have five convenient locations in Florida: Clearwater, New Port Richey, and Tampa.
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
1811 N. Belcher Road, Suite I-1
Clearwater, FL 33765
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Congress Ave Office
2360 Congress Avenue
Clearwater, FL 33763
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
6601 Memorial Hwy Suite 202
Tampa, FL 33615
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
2515 Seven Springs Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL, 34655