Rules that Govern the Trucking Industry | Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert
If you would like to speak to a personal injury lawyer about a potential Florida truck accident case, please contact Neufeld, Kleinberg, & Pinkiert, P.A.
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Rules & Regulations
that Govern the Trucking Industry

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Our highways and roads are traveled daily by thousands of trucks of all sizes for various reasons. Many are 18 wheeled trucks with drivers that get very little sleep traveling great distances to meet their delivery or pickup deadlines. According to Florida’s Integrated Report Exchange System, there are over 1000 daily accidents in Florida, with several of these vehicle accidents causing serious injuries. Unfortunately, truck collisions cause the most serious injuries and death do to the vehicles mere size and weight.

FMCSA regulations
Personal injury lawyers should be familiar with FMCSA regulations

Previous posts have discussed how lawyers view and analyze car accident cases (mostly governed by state laws) differently from the truck accident cases (mostly governed by federal laws). Below are some of the relevant laws:

  1. Federal Highway Administrations – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations (also referred to as the trucker’s bible.
  2. Chapter 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations

Truck Driver Regulations

  1. 49 CFR 40.1; 382.101: this is the system of testing and record keeping for drug and alcohol use by truck drivers.
  2. 49 CFR 383.1: Commercial Driver’s License requirements
  3. 49 CFR 391.11: Driver qualifications – age, road tests, background checks, record keeping, and physical examinations.
  4. 49 CFR 392.1: Sets forth the rules of the road. Deals with handling emergency signaling, lights and reflectors use, turn signals, hazardous conditions and driver’s fatigue.
  5. 49 CFR 392.2: Applicable Operating Rules. Notes that if there are two potentially conflicting safety rules (one state law vs. FMCSA) the higher standard of care must be followed.
  6. 49 CFR 392.3: If the driver’s ability or alertness is in any way impaired, or is likely to become impaired (fatigue, illness or other cause), that driver may not operate the truck. Exceptions exists for hauling ultra-hazardous materials.

The Florida commercial driver’s license manual should also be used to determine the rules of the road.

  1. 49 CFR 395.1: This section sets forth the maximum Hours of Service (i.e. how much continuous driving one may do and the required resting time in between).

Truck Driver Employer | Motor Carrier Regulations

  1. 49 CFR 387.1: Sets forth minimum insurance requirements.
  2. 49 CFR 390.11; 390.13; 395.3; and 395.5: Sets forth the truck-driver employer’s obligation to validate HOS logs.
  3. 49 CFR 391.23: it is the employer’s duty to ensure that the truck-drivers employed are qualified.
    1. 49 CFR 391.41(b)(5): a person is physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle, if that person has no established medical history or … respiratory dysfunction (refers to sleep apnea, which can affect truck drivers who are obese) likely to interfere with his/her ability to drive a commercial motor vehicle safely.
  4. 49 CFR 392.9: establishes standards for securing items in or on the truck – so they do not fall during transport. The motor carrier is responsible unless the truck was packed/loaded by a shipper, who then sealed the door themselves (shippers usually do not allow truck drivers on the loading dock).
  5. 49 CFR 396.1: Motor carriers must regularly inspect, maintain and repair their truck fleet.
If you would like to speak to an attorney about a potential truck accident case in Florida, please call and ask for Jason Neufeld or he can be emailed directly at