Florida Trucking Regulations 2023: Everything You Need To Know
April 24, 2023 | Sagi Shaked | Florida Law
Commercial truck accidents cause thousands of deaths and injuries each year. Florida ranked in the top three states for the highest number of truck accident deaths in 2020. Semi-trucks, big rigs, tractor-trailers, and other large trucks are vital for commerce. However, they are extremely dangerous vehicles when they are involved in a traffic accident.
Federal and state agencies set trucking regulations. Many of these regulations are designed to reduce the risk of large truck accidents. Below are some key trucking regulations expected at the federal and state levels for 2023.
Federal Trucking Regulation Changes Expected in 2023
A Significant Rulemaking Report published by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) gives us an idea about some changes in federal trucking regulations in 2023. The Unified Regulatory Agenda released in January 2023 also provides insight into upcoming trucking industry changes.
Of course, these regulations could change before the final rules are released. Furthermore, there could be questions about how the various regulatory agencies will implement the new rules, including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Proposed new regulations for the trucking industry in 2023 could include the following:
- Commercial trucks involved in interstate commerce could be required to have speed limiters on the trucks.
- New ELD revisions for electronic logging devices for large trucks.
- Installation and maintenance of ESC (electronic stability control) systems for commercial trucks.
- The information broadcast by drivers and motor carriers to roadside enforcement could change, increasing the extent of electronic commercial truck monitoring.
- Automatic emergency braking systems will be standardized and required for heavy trucks.
- Certification of standards for camera-based mirror systems (i.e., Alternative Options for Rearview Mirrors).
- Adding rear underride guards to single-unit trucks and enhanced standards for all underride guards on trucks.
- Hair and oral fluids testing for truck drivers might become available in 2023.
- A shift to pre-COVID-19 pandemic hours of service regulations is expected in 2023.
The above changes in trucking regulations are a few of the significant changes. The report lists many more potential changes to federal trucking regulations. The changes are designed to improve safety for everyone on the road.
Overview of Florida Trucking Regulations 2023
There do not appear to be any significant changes in state trucking regulations in Florida for 2023, but that is always subject to change. Florida has many laws regulating commercial truck operations. The laws are designed to reduce the risk of truck accidents, making Florida roads safer.
Examples of Florida trucking regulations include:
- Truck Lane Restrictions – Florida imposes truck lane restrictions on many roads throughout the state. Trucks are generally prohibited from traveling in the left or inside travel lanes on restricted roads.
- Florida Hours of Service Rules – The state Hours of Service (HOS) apply to commercial truck drivers who solely operate in intrastate commerce. The Florida HOS rules are designed to reduce the risk of drowsy and tired truck driver accidents.
- Florida traffic laws set the maximum height, width, and length for commercial trucks and trailers.
State trucking regulations cover many other issues related to the trucking industry, including truck driver qualification, alcohol and drug testing, hauling hazardous materials, and vehicle maintenance. Truck drivers and trucking companies are responsible for knowing and understanding Florida trucking regulations.
When Are Trucking Regulations Important in Personal Injury Cases?
When truck drivers, trucking companies, and other parties associated with the trucking industry violate trucking regulations, it can increase the risk of a truck accident. In addition, violations of trucking regulations could be evidence of negligence in a Miami truck accident case or a wrongful death action.
For example, failing to secure cargo correctly could lead to rollover and jackknife accidents. Falling cargo can cause massive pileups on the interstate.
Another example is the Hours of Service regulations. Showing that a truck driver violated the service hours could help establish liability for a drowsy truck driver accident.
An experienced Miami truck accident attorney independently investigates a truck crash. They also monitor the results of federal and state accident investigations. Expert witnesses and trucking experts might be hired to analyze the results of the investigation to determine if violations of trucking regulations contribute to the cause of the truck accident.
What Do I Need To Prove To Win a Miami Truck Accident Case?
First, your attorney must identify all parties who contributed to the cause of the truck crash. Each party could be liable for your injuries and damages. Then, the attorney gathers evidence to prove the elements of a negligence claim.
Proving negligence for a commercial truck accident requires you to have sufficient evidence establishing:
- Duty – The at-fault party owed you a duty of care, such as a trucking company hiring qualified drivers, shippers using correct loading methods, and truck driver following traffic laws.
- Breach of Duty – The at-fault party breached the duty of care by failing to use reasonable measures to avoid a truck accident, violating trucking regulations, or engaging in other wrongdoing.
- Causation – The actions or inactions of the at-fault party directly and proximately led to the truck accident.
- Damages – You sustained damages and injuries because of the truck crash.
Florida truck accidents cause catastrophic injuries. Truck accident victims often sustain permanent impairments and disabilities. Proving liability for damages can result in the victim receiving the compensation they need after a commercial truck accident.
What Damages Can I Receive for a Truck Accident Claim in Miami, FL?
Victims of truck accidents incur substantial financial losses. They also experience intense physical, emotional, and mental pain and suffering. Florida tort laws provide for compensatory damages for economic and non-economic losses.
Examples of the types of damages in a truck accident case include:
- Medical bills and expenses, including the cost of future medical care and treatment
- Long-term nursing care and in-home nursing services
- The cost of personal care and help with household chores
- Lost wages, benefits, and other income
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- The cost of rehabilitative therapies and treatment
- Reduction in future earning capacity
- Pain and discomfort caused by physical injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent disabilities and impairments
- A decrease in quality of life
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
Truck accident claims are incredibly complex personal injury cases. They require the assistance of experienced truck accident attorneys. The best way to protect your right to fair compensation is to work with a Miami truck accident attorney instead of going up against a large trucking company and its insurance provider on your own.