Federal Trucking Regulations
Our Fort Lauderdale Lawyers Know How to Determine Trucker Liability
Commercial trucking companies and their drivers must adhere to numerous federal and state regulations. The applicable federal rules were created and are enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). If a trucking company or a commercial driver breaks one of these laws, resulting in an injury or death of another person, the victim is entitled to financial compensation through the civil courts.
Our attorneys have a full understanding of these rules and how they may apply to your truck accident case in Florida. With more than 50 years of experience, our Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys have the experience to argue claims based on these regulations. Do not hesitate to reach out to our team to see how we can strengthen your case.
During a free consultation, one of our attorneys can listen to your story to determine whether federal trucking regulations may play a role in your case. Contact us today at (888) 499-6206 to schedule a discussion with our Fort Lauderdale team.
Overview of FMCSA Rules
Since 1939, the federal government has managed and overseen the interstate trucking industry in an effort to ensure these vehicles are safely operated and decrease the number of serious accidents. The FMCSA has authority in these matters; over the years, the agency has established various regulations and requirements which all trucking companies must abide by.
The most common federal regulations used in the prosecution of negligent trucking companies are:
- Hours of service rules – According to federal regulations, a commercial truck driver may only operate a truck for 11 hours after a 10-hour break. He or she may not also drive beyond a 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty after a 10-hour break. Furthermore, a driver may not work more than 60-70 hours in 7-8 consecutive days. This rule is an important part of the effort to reduce fatigued driving.
- Weight limits – A commercial truck may only carry up to a maximum of 20,000 pounds per axle, which is a gross vehicle weight not exceeding 80,000 pounds. Overloaded or improperly loaded cargo often results in difficulties maneuvering and stopping, which can result in a devastating accident.
- Alcohol and drug testing – Periodic testing of drivers for alcohol and controlled substance use is mandatory for those who operate a vehicle with a gross weight of 26,000 pounds or more, including a towed unit or trailer weighing 10,000 pounds or more. Commercial drivers such as truckers are not allowed to use any substances while operating a vehicle and can be charged with a DUI if their BAC is over .04.
- Driver qualifications – If a driver operates a commercial vehicle that weighs over 10,000 pounds or transports hazardous materials, they must comply with specific provisions outlined in the federal regulations. Drivers must at least be 21 years of age, be able to speak and read English, be physically fit to safely operate their vehicle, possess a valid CDL, and have a driving record free from license suspension or revocation for a DUI, a felony, leaving the scene of an accident, or refusing to take an alcohol test.
- Inspection, repair, and maintenance – It is mandatory for trucking companies to perform frequent, routine inspections and repairs on all truck parts and equipment before taking any long journey. These inspections serve to ensure the truck is in safe, working condition.
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Over the past 50 years, our Fort Lauderdale truck accident attorneys have built a credible reputation obtaining successful legal outcomes in the community. We believe this is due to our work ethic—we go the extra mile to ensure every client receives the attention their case needs—and our extensive experience. Favorable results are won by thoroughly reviewing each case and determining all a client’s legal options. Ask us how our team can help you today.
Contact us by calling (888) 499-6206 to request a free case evaluation with one of our Fort Lauderdale attorneys. We want to help your claim succeed.