According to the National Traffic Safety Institute 200,000 accidents involving at least one truck and one passenger car happen each year. In the US, more than 60% of these accidents were caused by the driver of the automobile. Because trucks are larger and heavier, most of the fatalities are the drivers and passengers in the automobile. Trucks include tractors and semitrailers.
Truck laws and regulations
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determines new truck equipment standards. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates equipment, inspections, maintenance, hours of service and more. Both agencies are within the US Department of Transportation.
Florida state and local laws also regulate the licensing, operation, and motor vehicle rules for all commercial vehicles which includes trucks. In Florida, the Office of Motor Carrier Compliance (OMCC) in the Florida Department of Transportation carries out truck inspections at weigh stations and on the road. If violations are cited, the owner has to correct the violations before the truck can be placed on the road again.
Tips for car drivers
- Trucks need more room when turning. Never get too close to a truck when it’s turning – your car may get crunched.
- Trucks have larger and different blind spots (called No Zones). Consider using low beams when you follow a truck so the truck driver isn’t blinded.
- Maintain a longer safe-driving distance
- To pass a truck means you need more time because the truck is longer.
- Be aware truck trailers may swing into your lane
- Trucks can have large splashes because their tires are bigger
- Car drivers should not be in the lane between two trucks
- Car drivers should leave extra room when stopped behind an inclined truck.
Tips for truck drivers
- Take prescribed rests. Truck drivers should keep logs of their hours. Driver fatigue causes accidents.
- Truck drivers need a commercial license
- Truck drivers need medical clearance – there are some exceptions. Truck drivers should make sure they’re healthy, fit and fed before and during their drive.
- Slow down when in a work zone
- Drive defensively
- Wear a seat belt
- Maintain the vehicle – inspect your vehicle before each trip, especially the brakes.
- Truck drivers need a special “H” endorsement on their license if they’re carrying hazardous materials
Why you need a skilled Tampa or Florida attorney
- A skilled lawyer knows the Federal, state and local truck laws
- A skilled lawyer knows the common errors that truck drivers make and the common shortcuts that truck owners take that cause accidents
- A skilled lawyer knows how to determine who really owns the truck.
How our firm can help.
If anyone you know is has suffered because of a truck accident, let our law firm help you get the recovery you deserve. During this difficult time we will help you receive the maximum compensation allowed by law and we will assist you through every step of the case. Our team of lawyers works with medical professionals, valuation experts, technical experts and other lawyers. If you or a loved one suffered an injury or a death please call us at 1-888-WE-MEAN-IT (1-888-936-3264) or email us at: [email protected].