Tampa Truck Safety Regulations Lawyer
A large number of Florida truck accidents are attributed to truck driver error or fatigue, as well as to problems with the truck itself, such as out-of-adjustment brakes or worn-out tires. In an attempt to prevent such accidents from occurring, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has adopted numerous regulations governing truckers and trucking companies. Despite these safety regulations, truck accidents continue to take lives and injure thousands every year. Whenever truck accidents occur, the personal injury lawyers at Pawlowski//Mastrilli Law Group investigate whether FMCSA regulations were violated, which represents powerful evidence of negligence on the part of the truck driver or commercial carrier. Contact our Tampa truck saftey regulation lawyers today.
Hours of Service of Drivers
The FMCSA regulations limit the amount of time truckers can drive at a stretch, or within a given work day or work week. Unfortunately, the truck industry is a powerful and influential lobby, and these regulations allow driving shifts far beyond what most of us would consider safe for driving. Under the regulations, truckers can drive:
- Up to 11 hours in a 14-hour workday;
- Up to eight hours without a rest break;
- Up to 60 hours in a seven-day workweek;
- Up to 70 hours in an eight-day workweek.
Truck drivers need only have ten hours off duty before the start of a shift. In addition, there are literally dozens of exceptions from these hours of service requirements for various different types of drivers. Even truckers covered by the regulations are allowed to drive for an additional two hours if “adverse driving conditions” would prevent them from meeting their schedule, or for an unlimited period if “emergency conditions” would prevent them delivering their cargo on time.
Despite these generous regulations, truck drivers routinely violate the law and drive more hours than are allowed, leading to serious truck accidents caused by fatigue, inattention and falling asleep at the wheel.
Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance
Truckers and trucking companies are required to inspect their vehicles regularly, and trucks are forbidden to be operated if they are in a condition that is likely to cause an accident or breakdown. Drivers are required to complete an inspection before beginning a route and at the end of every day, making a report on the brakes, tires, steering, lights and horns, etc. In addition to these driver inspections, the FMCSA regulations also require periodic inspection by the carrier. Any reported defect or deficiency which is likely to affect the safe operation of the vehicle should be corrected before the truck may be driven again.
Government agencies also routinely stop commercial trucks and inspect them for compliance with regulations. Tractor-trailers and drivers are routinely placed out-of-service during these inspections for violations such as bad tires or brakes, lack of driver qualifications, and falsified records and log books.
Get Help from Experienced Florida Truck Accident Lawyers
If you have been injured in a truck accident in the Tampa Bay area or anywhere along Florida roads and highways, contact Pawlowski//Mastrilli Law Group for a free consultation. We will go to work immediately investigating the accident and working to hold the responsible parties accountable to you for your injuries. Call 813-803-6518 for immediate assistance.