Tractor trailer accident in Sarasota highlights the dangers of trucks on Florida’s highways

As if anyone needed a reminder of the danger of trucks on Florida’s roadways, an accident in Sarasota serves as yet another sobering reminder of how dangerous the Sunshine State’s highways can be even with the whole host of state and federal laws meant to ensure the safety of motorists around these dangerous vehicles. According to a report regarding the accident, which occurred at 4:55 a.m. on I-75 outside Sarasota, the accident occurred when the tractor trailer, driven by a 50-year-old man from Wesley Chapel outside Tampa, was traveling faster than a BMW being driven by a 21-year-old from Wisconsin, which had two passengers, and, the tractor-trailer driver failing to recognize he was going faster than the car, rear-ended the BMW. The BMW was sent spinning all the way around and finally came to rest on the shoulder of the highway. The three people in the BMW were seriously injured, with one in critical condition and two others in serious condition, after the accident. The tractor-trailer driver escaped the accident unscathed.

Florida State Law and Federal Law Governing Trucks and Truck Drivers Meant to Ensure Their Safe Operation

Trucking companies and truck drivers are regulated at both the state and federal levels in Florida to ensure they are operated safely and to try to cut down on the number of accidents that occur involving trucks. Nevertheless, this still does not seem to prevent accidents from happening all the time involving tractor trailers on the Sunshine State’s highways like the recent accident in Sarasota. At the federal level, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Commission is a federal regulatory agency that oversees the operations of trucking companies and promulgates rules and regulations mean to ensure the safety of trucking companies and their drivers across roads and highways across the country. Both Florida and the federal government regulate the hours that truck drivers are permitted to drive. If a driver is carrying property or cargo only, the driver is permitted to drive up to 12 hours in a single day under Florida law, but the driver is then required to take ten rest hours before getting behind the wheel again. Federal and state laws also place limitations on the number of hours a driver can be on duty during a week. If a driver has been on the road and behind the wheel for seven days in a row, then he or she is required to have 34 hours of rest time before he or she can get behind the wheel again.

Federal regulations and state laws in Florida also regulate what truck drivers can do with mobile phones while behind the wheel. Under these regulations and laws, truck drivers are expressly prohibited from texting or otherwise using handheld cell phones while driving a truck. Florida state law also regulates trucking companies and their operations on the state’s roads at the state level as well. Florida law strictly limits the size and weight requirements for the trucks that are permitted on the Sunshine State’s roads.

Contact Schwed, Adams & McGinley

At Schwed, Adams, & McGinley, P.A., our experienced personal injury attorneys have more than 200 years of combined practice representing victims of all sorts of motor vehicle accidents, including trucking accidents. The experienced truck accident attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley can use our thorough knowledge and understanding of the state and federal laws governing trucking companies and their drivers to help you pursue full and fair compensation for your losses after you have been injured or lost a loved one in a trucking accident. Therefore, if a truck driver or a truck company’s negligence caused you to suffer injuries in a trucking accident in Florida, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A today at 877-694-6079 or contact@schwedlawfirm.com for a free consultation.