Speed Limits and Commercial Truck Accidents

Federal law allows each state to set the maximum speed limit for the state highways within its boundaries. Florida legislature has assigned to the Florida Department of Transportation (“FDOT”) this task of determining appropriate maximum speed limits for its state highways. Pursuant to the FDOT, generally, the maximum speed limit for interstates is 70 mph. However, the maximum speed limit for a highway with four divided lanes and located outside a city is 65 mph. Other state highways have a maximum speed limit of 60 mph.

Research conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (“IIHS”) has revealed that speed reduces ones ability to avoid a potential auto accident. Thus, when one is faced with an inevitable auto accident situation coupled with high speed (for example, while driving on a Florida highway) the harm to the parties involved typically turns out to be of great degree or even worse, fatal. This degree of harm and/or fatality increases when one of the objects involved is a commercial truck. Because most truck accidents occur on state highways, at high speeds, it is important to be cognizant of the laws governing these commercial vehicles, and how these laws are used in order to resolve a potential matter.

How Liability Is Imputed In Truck Cases

When it comes to commercial trucks, federal law governs. The regulations imposed by our federal government are meant to make truck driving safer for the whole community of drivers. The significance of these regulations definitely comes into play when one is faced with an accident caused by the negligence of a truck driver.

Commercial truck drivers must be qualified and trained in order to obtain their licenses. When we investigate an auto accident involving a commercial truck or tractor-trailer, we look for potential reasons for the cause of the accident. Pursuant to federal law, there are certain amounts of hours that commercial truck drivers can drive and not exceed. If there happens to be an excess of driving hours, the truck driver may be deemed “fatigued.” If the driver is deemed fatigued, this will only add to his negligence matter. Thus, it is of upmost importance to obtain the documentation book that keeps record of the amounts of hours the at-fault truck driver had driven before the accident occurred.

Another factor we take into consideration is the truck driver’s driving record. A long list of speeding tickets or prior accidents would only supplement his negligence claim.

Truck maintenance is something we additionally take note of. It is not safe for example, for a truck driver to drive his truck while it is overloaded. If an overloaded truck happens to strike another vehicle, the impact it poses is greater than that of what it would have posed if it weren’t overloaded.
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