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Trucking Regulations In Florida


When considering the major technological innovations of our time, perhaps none ranks as more critical than the invention of the automobile.  The tires on the early cars, made of un-vulcanized rubber, would melt in the heat, rendering them inoperable.  Seat belts and air bags are mandated in vehicles to help prevent the risk of personal injury.

The point of these statements is that over time, rules and regulations have been developed to foster the safety and standardization of motor vehicle operation.  When it comes to commercial semi trucks, the rules and regulations are comprehensive and leave little room for interpretation.

Because of their sheer size and domineering power on the roadways, accidents with semi trucks can cause severe personal injury even at fender-bender speeds.  For this reason, different regulatory agencies exist to monitor and ensure safe operation of commercial fleets.

For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) works to reduce crashes and cases of personal injury by establishing various restrictions on commercial trucks including size and weight, daily drive hours, alcohol and drug testing of drivers, and various other specific rules of the road.  In addition, the Florida Highway Patrol Office of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement (OCVE) has established trucking regulations specific to the state.

Florida law follows a comparative negligence system of determining fault in an accident, meaning that it is important for plaintiffs to be aware of any infractions committed by the truck driver involved in a crash.  Read on to discover what Florida residents should know about commercial trucking regulations in their state.

Drive Hours 

Driving while tired can feel as inhibiting as driving while under the influence of alcohol.  For this reason, federal regulations limit the number of hours a truck driver can be on the road without rest, both consecutively and within a given time period.  In general, that limit is 11 hours for cargo and 10 hours for carrying passengers. In addition, Florida limits drivers who carry property to 12 hours in a single day.

Distracted Driving 

Federal guidelines prohibit truck drivers from texting while behind the wheel.  In addition, truckers cannot use hand-held cell phones; all communication must be hands-free while driving.  In Florida, texting while driving is illegal for all drivers.

Testing for Alcohol and Drugs 

When commercial truck drivers accept employment, they also consent to being tested for alcohol at any point in time, without warning  Both federal and state laws prohibit drivers from getting behind the wheel with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04% or more.

In the event of an accident that causes personal injury or death,  truckers are required to be tested for a BAC of 0.02 or above, as well as testing for the presence of the following drugs: Marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and PCP.

Let us Help You Today 

After an accident with a semi truck, drivers are likely to feel a little lost in terms of how to proceed with legal action, especially if the accident causes personal injury and they are facing opposition and pressure from the trucking company and insurance providers.

This is where professional legal counsel comes in.  Don’t hesitate to contact the skilled Orlando truck accident lawyers at Payer Law for a consultation on your case.

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