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To operate a commercial vehicle, a truck driver must have a commercial license. But, that license does not necessarily mean a person is competent or that they will never be negligent behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle.
There are numerous situations where these commercial truck drivers enter unfamiliar territory. Unfortunately, this can lead to horrific accidents that cause devastating injuries or worse, fatalities.
The attorneys at Fetterman & Associates, PA want to help you hold those who are negligent responsible for their actions. When a Florida truck driver is negligent behind the wheel, he or she risks lives. Our attorneys have experience with truck-related accidents and we can help you receive the settlement you deserve.
Requirements for a Commercial License in Florida
To get a commercial license, a person must have two years of supervised commercial driving experience and extensive training. They often have to complete a commercial driving course through an approved school, and they must receive a certificate of completion. But, those courses cannot train for every possible situation and even a truck driver with ten years of experience may act negligently.
The Safety Obligations Florida Truck Drivers Have
Driving commercial vehicles is nothing like a passenger vehicle. The drivers of a commercial truck must be knowledgeable with:
- How to operate air brakes.
- How to balance the load on their vehicle for stability.
- How long it takes for their truck to stop fully loaded and when it is empty.
- The blind spots on their commercial vehicle.
- When and how to use the brakes, and how much distance to give themselves between vehicles and objects.
- Turning radius.
- The controls of the truck, including lights and windshield wiper blades.
- The width and height of the vehicle so they know if it is safe to drive in certain areas.
When truck drivers do not know or use these safety obligations, they can cause devastating accidents. Also, there is a massive shortage of qualified truck drivers and companies are seeing high turnover rates for their drivers, which mean there are more inexperienced truckers on the road every day.
According to the American Trucking Association, the country is short by over 30,000 qualified truck drivers and it is estimated that 90 percent of companies cannot find qualified applicants to fill their open positions.
With such a dramatic shortage in this industry, trucking companies are forced to hire those drivers with limited training, including those who have just received their commercial truck license. These drivers barely understand how to operate their vehicle, let alone how to ensure they respond safely in situations like poor weather, maneuvering in heavy traffic, road conditions, etc.
Florida Truck Driver Negligence – Speeding and Driver Fatigue Are Top Causes
The majority of truck-related accidents out there are on the highways. And, these accidents often involve large semi-trucks or 18-wheeler. Drivers of these vehicles are supposed to exercise extreme caution and avoid any at-risk driving behavior.
While most truck drivers do follow the rules of the road and drive as safe as possible, there are a select few who are not as cautious. Also, due to the high demands on the industry and the lack of drivers to meet those demands, employers are asking their drivers to throw caution and safety to the wind.
Truck driver negligence can occur for various reasons, but some of the most common examples of negligence include:
- Driving recklessly or speeding in inclement weather or hazardous road conditions
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Following a vehicle or another truck too closely
- Making illegal maneuvers
- Failing to inspect the truck before driving
- Failing to secure the truck load
- Driving distracted
- Drowsy driving
Federal law limits how long a truck driver can be on the road, and they are required to take sleep breaks. Skipping these can improve a driver’s time, but put everyone else on the road at risk.
Injured in a Florida Truck Accident? Call the Law Team at Fetterman & Associates, PA Now!
Every truck driver, regardless of the demands or business, should operate their vehicle with safety. They have a duty to drive responsibly and share the road with other passenger vehicles and trucks alike.
Because the accidents with a semi-truck are devastating, and can result in thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost wages and damages, truckers and their employers must be held accountable for their negligence.
If you or a loved one was injured in a semi-truck accident, contact the Law Team at Fetterman & Associates, PA today. We will meet with you for free and evaluate your case.
Call us now at 561-845-2510.