West Palm Beach, FL – The driving of trucks and other types of commercial vehicles is regulated by the government to a much higher degree than driving standard cars. This is because large trucks and other types of vehicles that can transport passengers or large amounts of materials can become a serious hazard if not operated properly. Anyone who is employed by a company that operates a fleet of vehicles or works as an independent contractor must have certain qualifications. Despite these strict regulations, truckers do still cause accidents at times. Victims of a truck crash should try to get legal advice as soon as possible to help pay for their losses.
The commercial driver’s license
Florida has special requirements for truckers to get their CDL. Drivers must be at least 18 to get their CDL, or at least 21 if they need to make interstate trips or transport hazardous materials. The state will do a background check to make sure that the driver does not have a suspended or revoked standard driver’s license in Florida or any other jurisdiction. A medical examination must be completed in accord with the rules given by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. There are also citizenship and residency requirements to prove that the driver lives in Florida and can legally work in the United States.
The applicant must first get a commercial learner’s permit by completing a written test about safety and other procedures on the roads. When the applicant receives their CDL, it will be marked with a class of A through D depending on the size of the vehicles that the driver will use.
Once the driver has their license and is working for an employer, there are certain rules that need to be followed on the roads. The driver can only be on the roads for a limited number of hours, and there are mandatory break times. Drivers need to keep records of their hours and rest periods to ensure compliance.
Special insurance is required as well.
Traffic citations and possible suspensions
Violations like speeding, careless driving, and ignoring traffic lights and signs may have much more severe consequences for truckers than other drivers. It is easier for a driver to lose their commercial driving privileges than for standard drivers to lose their licenses due to repeat violations or serious offenses such as driving under the influence.
Assistance after a truck crash
There are lawyers in the West Palm Beach area who can help accident victims recover their financial losses. Smith and Vanture is an experienced personal injury firm that handles cases throughout the south Florida region.
Firm contact info:
580 Village Blvd. Suite 200, West Palm Beach, FL 33409