Truck drivers and truck companies all have to abide by laws and regulations established by The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In addition to following the basic rules of the road that all motorists must abide by, commercial truck drivers must follow federal and state rules which govern:
1) Service hours. Laws require truck drivers to drive a limited time before resting. These laws are designed to help prevent Davie traffic accidents and Florida accidents caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel. Unfortunately, truck drivers and companies often have a financial interest in driving further in a shorter period of time without breaks in order to meet deadlines. Truck drivers are expected to keep a log of their driving hours so that they can prove that they have taken adequate rest stops.
2) Rest hours. To prevent accidents caused by drowsy driving, truck drivers are expected to rest for specific periods of time between drives. They are also expected to get regular longer rests to stay alert. As with service hours, drivers must keep a log of their rest periods.
3) Load weights. There are weight limits of trucks for a number of reasons. Trucks that exceed certain weight limits can cause damage to roads and other infrastructure, making roadways less safe for other vehicles. In addition, trucks that are over their weight limit are harder for the driver to control and more likely to be an accident. Trucks with exceeded load limits also put extra pressure on brake systems, tires, and other systems, possibly leading to a Davie tire blowout or other incident that can lead to an accident.
4) Truck maintenance. Truck companies are responsible for ensuring that their fleet of trucks is regularly maintained. In addition, truck drivers are expected to check their trucks daily and before each trip, reporting or fixing any issues and keeping a log of the inspections. In some cases, drivers and companies may neglect maintenance due to time issues or in order to save money. When this happens and poor maintenance leads to an accident, the driver and company may be held liable.
5) Distracted and impaired driving. Florida laws do not currently ban motorists from texting and driving, but commercial truck drivers are not allowed to text and drive or to drive distracted. In addition, truck drivers are subject to drug and alcohol testing and face very strict rules about recklessness behind the wheel. If a truck driver causes a Davie car accident due to distracted or impaired driving, they may face stiffer penalties since the rules for commercial drivers are stricter.
6) Speed limits. Just like all motorists, truck drivers are expected to follow the speed limit. This is very important, since commercial truck drivers usually need to make deadlines and may have a financial incentive to speed and deliver a shipment by a specific date or time. When commercial truck drivers are caught exceeding the speed limit or cause an accident by speeding, they may face legal claims as well as loss of their license.
Have you been injured in a Davie traffic accident? Find out your rights and options by contacting the Flaxman Law Group today. Your initial consultation is free and comes with no obligation.