State and Federal Truck Safety Regulations

Commercial trucks are highly regulated by both state and federal agencies for a number of reasons. First, the trucks are much larger than the rest of the vehicles on the road, which means that they ultimately pose a greater risk to the surrounding vehicles in the event of a collision. In addition to the obvious physics at play, there is the additional factor of the amount of time that a truck driver spends on the road when compared to a passenger vehicle operator. These risks and responsibilities play a big role in the additional safety regulations set forth for 18-wheeler and semi-truck drivers.

If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, these regulations will be referenced often. They are there for your own safety, as well as the driver, but can complicated a claims process significantly because of the additional information required for each step of the claim. As such, it is highly recommended that you contact us if you’ve been in a truck accident in Winter Park. We will work directly with the commercial insurance company to ensure that your accident is analyzed from every possible angle, and that you are compensated fairly either through an out-of-court settlement, or through a full lawsuit if necessary.

Contact us today for a free consultation about your accident, and read more about truck safety regulations below.

Federal Truck Regulations

Federal trucking regulations are handled by the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration, and cover everything from maximum allowable driving hours, to drug testing, and everything in between in order to reduce risks, decrease accidents, and improve safety across our federal highways. They cover commercial trucks as well as passenger buses with their regulations. In addition to setting forth regulations for commercial truck operators, they also lead many studies into highway safety, and are constantly working on additional ways to keep drivers safe.

Some of the main regulations for truck drivers include things like methods and requirements for securing cargo, the maximum allowable hours either per-day or per-week that a truck driver is allowed to operate, regulations surrounding drug and alcohol use for truck drivers, and certain medical guidelines that must be met for the safety of truckers and surrounding travelers.

Hours of Service

The FMCSA has a series of service requirements that vary depending on the nature of the vehicle. The designation is between a “property carrying” and a “passenger carrying” driver.

Property Carrying Drivers

There is an 11-hour driving limit that says drivers may not drive more than 11 hours after a 10-hour break. However, there is also a 14-hour driving limit that states that they “may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty.” In addition, they may not exceed 60/70 hours of driving in a 7/8-day stretch. They can reset the day count with a 34-hour period of complete rest.

If you have been in a collision with a driver who has violated these regulations, we will be sure that this is represented in your lawsuit, and will use this to seek maximum damages for your injuries.

Passenger Carrying Drivers

There are a few slight variations to the regulations as they pertain to bus drivers or any other passenger-carrying operator. Instead of an 11-hour limit, theirs is 10, and may not drive after having been on duty for 15 hours, following 8 consecutive hours off duty. They have the same rules that apply to 60/70 hours of driving.

If you have been involved in an accident with a passenger bus, or injured as a passenger on a bus, you may be eligible to recover damages for your injuries.

Driver Qualifications

If a driver wants to operate a vehicle that exceeds the designation of a passenger vehicle, then they are required to get a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in order to drive. The CDL is divided into classes A, B, and C which corresponds to the nature and size of the vehicle they are operating.

This license requires a lot more training and much more classwork than a standard driver’s license, and as such, CDL drivers are expected to have a greater understanding of road safety.

Florida Truck Regulations

Florida adheres to all federal truck regulations, and additionally has limitations based on weight, length, height, and width of all trucks that are allowed to operate within the state.

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