Understanding Federal Trucking Laws

Federal and state laws are in place to regulate the trucking industry beyond the rules that are in place for typical drivers. The reason being that when the massive size of a semi-truck collides with other vehicles, the results can be catastrophic. The extensive trucking codes can be used to a trucking accident victim’s advantage when proving the other party’s guilt, but only if the victim understands the intricacies of the laws well enough. That is why many victims turn to an experienced trucking accident attorney to represent their cases. The attorneys at the Charpentier Law Firm in Melbourne, FL, are well versed in trucking laws. Our attorneys can significantly improve your chances of getting the compensation you are due for your pain, suffering, and property damage, as well as answer any questions that you may have.

Trucking Law Violations

Laws governing the trucking industry fall under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation. In addition, the state of Florida has its own trucking laws.

Hours Worked

The FMCSA makes daily and weekly driving hour restrictions very clear:

Hourly limits for truck drivers

  • Drivers may not drive more than 14 hours per day
  • Drivers may not drive more than 11 hours in a row without a break
  • Drivers may not drive more than 77 hours in any seven-day period

The purpose of these restrictions is to ensure that drivers are adequately rested while behind the wheel. Driver fatigue can contribute to accidents, rendering the person controlling the vehicle less likely to make good decisions and reducing their reaction times. Despite driving hour restrictions in place, truck drivers are notorious for violating these designated limits. Additionally, many drivers will modify their work logs in an attempt to conceal any working hour violations. A good attorney will know how to read these logs and identify when drivers may have been driving when they should have been off the clock.

Speeding and Other Road Violations

Truck drivers are typically paid based on the miles that they travel, not by the amount of time spent driving. This can encourage drivers to speed or make other unsafe decisions on roadways. In their haste to make it to their destination, they may also commit other violations, such as failing to signal, improper lane changes, or running through red lights.

All too often, trucking companies disregard these laws in the interest of making a profit

Overloaded Cargo

The amount of cargo a truck can transport is also regulated by trucking laws. A truck hauling excessive cargo, or improperly loaded cargo, throws off vehicular balance, makes breaking difficult, and can cause more damage in the event of a collision. All too often, trucking companies disregard these laws in the interest of making a profit.

Drug and Alcohol Use

Laws prohibiting driving while under the influence apply to all drivers, including those who operate large trucks. Truck drivers are held to even more stringent standards that include many prescription and over-the-counter medications, such as cough syrup. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for truck drivers to use caffeine pills and other products to help them stay awake while driving.

Proving Your Truck Accident Case

Trucking companies can and should be held liable when their negligent and unlawful activities cause an accident. The attorneys at the Charpentier Law Firm have the decades of experience to prove that the driver or the trucking company involved in your accident is liable for your injuries. Contact us today to learn more during a free case evaluation.

Charpentier Law Firm, P.A. office building

Charpentier Law Firm, P.A.

Since 1989, Stephen G. Charpentier been protecting victims' rights. Mr. Charpentier:

  • Is a recipient of an AV rating, the Martindale-Hubbel®
  • National Law Directory's highest honor
  • Earned Florida Legal Elite status in 2010
  • Handles cases in many practice areas including medical malpractice, auto accidents, and wrongful death

To schedule your free consultation, contact us online or call us at (321) 308-8020.

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