Are There Special Rules in Florida Governing Trucks and Truck Drivers?

Everyone has been in the situation where you are driving on I-95 or another highway when a tractor trailer, seemingly swerving back and forth onto the dividers between lanes and with its driver barely in control, blows past like you are parked.  This is unfortunately an everyday occurrence on Florida interstates, state highways, and even surface streets in the Sunshine State.  Large trucks are frequently driven in an unsafe fashion, often because the companies that employ their truck drivers may be pushing them past their natural limits despite state and federal laws meant to discourage them from doing so.

Many people nevertheless wonder whether the rules are different for the tractor trailers speeding down Florida’s freeways than for the other motor vehicles on the road.  Truck drivers are on the road for long stretches of time at once, and, despite federal and state laws meant to limit their time behind the wheel, they are often are drowsy while behind the wheel of a potentially lethal vehicle.  Worse, the driver might be talking on the phone or texting behind the wheel while operating such a large, dangerous vehicle.  One false move could mean death or serious injuries to not only that driver, but also everyone in the cars around that driver.

Given how dangerous such trucks can be if they are not driven as safely as possible, they are naturally heavily regulated by both the state and federal government.  However, trucking companies still routinely take action to avoid compliance with the many state and federal regulations that apply to their industry.  This is why it is particularly important to have an experienced trucking accident attorney like the attorneys of Schwed, Adams & McGinley representing you if you have been injured in an accident with a tractor trailer or semi- truck in Florida.  Our experience with such companies and the tricks they try to play will enable you to obtain maximum compensation for your injuries suffered as a result of a truck driver’s negligence.

Florida State and Federal Laws Governing Trucks and Truck Drivers

Trucking companies and truck drivers are regulated at both the state and federal level in Florida.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Commission is a federal regulatory agency that oversees the operations of trucking companies and promulgates rules and regulations meant to ensure the safety of trucking companies and their drivers across on roads and highways across the country.  Florida 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.

Florida and the federal government also 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 law also place limitations on the number of hours a driver can be on duty during a week (or seven consecutive days).  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 law 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 while driving a truck.  Additionally, under federal rules, truckers cannot use hand-held cell phones unless the phone is in hands-free mode.  This means that a trucker cannot use an electronic device to send or read e-mail, surf the Web, play games or anything else that people do with mobile phones.

Contact Schwed Adams & McGinley

At Schwed, Adams, & McGinley, P.A., our experienced personal injury attorneys have more than 150 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.