Frequently Abused Florida And Federal Trucking Regulations Causing Collisions

There are many different types of federal and Florida trucking regulations, the violations of which can cause serious semi-truck collisions on the roads of Florida.  Some of the most frequently violated Florida semi-truck regulations include:

1)        CDL driving regulations

Commercial semi truck drivers must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). To obtain a CDL, the U.S. Department of Transportation[1] (DOT) requires a driver to pass a series of tests designed solely for commercial truck drivers. The laws vary slightly from state to state but must comply with federal DOT laws and regulations. The larger the semi truck or tractor trailer, the more stringent the test. These regulations require a driver to have full proficiency in:

  • Maneuvering, parking, backing up
  • Maintenance of engines, lights, tires
  • Pre-trip inspection
  • Hazardous materials containment regulations and procedure

In addition to obtaining a CDL license, a driver must pass a drug test and vigorous physical exam to confirm that the driver is sufficiently physically fit to drive an 18-wheeler.

2)        Log books regulations

Semi-truck drivers must keep a logbook and record such items as:

  • The number of hours they drive each day and the amount of time they rest (A driver can drive a maximum of 11 hours and then must rest for 10. Driving 60 hours or more in a seven-day period or 70 hours in an eight-day period is illegal.)
  • The date they picked up their cargo “load”
  • The weight of the truck rig before and after cargo is onboard
  • The destination
  • The date of delivery

3)        Missing or improper underride bar. To prevent vehicles from running underneath tractor-trailer trucks, the federal regulations require all trailers to have an underride bar, which is commonly known as a “DOT bar.” These bars must be a specific width and height requirement in order to comply with the safety regulations.

Other Florida Trucking Violations

The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Association[2] (FMCSA) has almost 200 different violations, all with assigned point values that commercial carriers can be cited for during an inspection. Many of them are five points or more, and the more points, the more penalties the driver, carrier or both could face. Examples of penalties include FMCSA warnings, audits, orders to fix the items that were found to be in violation and fines.

The common maintenance problems that inspectors frequently cite drivers and carriers for are entirely preventable if trucks are maintained on a routine basis. The reason behind all these rules and violations is to secure better maintained trucks which results in fewer Florida semi-truck accidents and safer roads for all Florida drivers

Evidence of Florida Regulation Violations

Proving negligence in a semi-truck accident can be the key to winning a claim.  It is important to speak to an experienced Florida truck accident attorney who can gain access to the semi trucker’s CDL test results, drug test screenings, criminal background and driving logbook.  In a semi-truck accident case, it is crucial to obtain evidence to prove negligence on the part of the truck driver and/or the truck company including:

  • Whether the driver’s CDL license was active or suspended?
  • Whether the driver has a criminal record?
  • How many prior tickets did the driver receive?
  • How many prior accidents did the driver have in the past few years?
  • Was the driver’s cargo load over the legal limit?
  • Was the driver driving over the allotted legal number of hours?
  • Did the driver veer from the intended route or destination?
  • Was the driver under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or prescription medication? 

Call an Experienced Florida Truck Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one were involved in an accident with a large truck it is likely that you have serious and maybe even permanent injuries or disabilities.  In order to make certain that you receive all of the compensation to which you are entitled, it is necessary to speak to an experienced Florida truck accident attorney who can determine if the truck driver and/or the carrier violated any Florida or federal regulation.  At the Dolman Law Group in Florida, our team of highly skilled truck accident lawyers have successfully helped many truck accident victims and they are ready to speak to you about your specific situation. Please call our office at 727-451-6900 today.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756