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What Are Hours of Service Rules for Truck Drivers in Florida?

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Image from the cab of a semi truck driving down the highway at night

Under Section 316.302 of the Florida Statutes, a commercial truck driver who operates a vehicle entirely within Florida State lines must adhere to certain limits on consecutive hours and days of driving, including:

  • Not driving more than 12 hours after 10 consecutive hours of rest.
  • Not driving after the 16th hour after completing 10 consecutive hours of rest.
  • Not driving more than 70/80 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive driving days (drivers must have at least 34 hours off to mark the end of the 7/8-consecutive driving day period).

Within certain limits, commercial operators must maintain accurate logbooks to record their driving hours unless they operate their vehicles entirely within a 150-mile radius of their home location and do not carry any placarded hazardous materials. If a truck driver is involved in an accident, those logbooks, including more modern electronic logging systems, can provide evidence to show whether or not the driver exceeded the hours of service limits at the time of the crash. If so, a case can be made that driver fatigue may have been the cause of the crash.

Are the Florida hours of service rules different than the Federal rules?

Drivers that operate commercial vehicles in interstate commerce are also subject to stricter hours of service rules imposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The Federal Rules limit truck operators to:

  • Not driving more than 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours of rest.
  • Not driving after the 14th hour after coming on duty.
  • Resting for at least 30 minutes after 8 hours of driving time.
  • Not driving more than 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive driving days.
  • Getting at least 8 hours of sleep in a truck’s sleeper berth plus two non-driving hours before returning to operating the truck.

Driver fatigue can lead to crashes

Collisions between cars and large commercial trucks in Southern Florida can result in serious injuries to the car’s occupants. If negligence on the part of the trucking company or its employees (including the driver or maintenance staff that worked on the truck) helped cause the crash, other drivers and passengers on the road who were injured may be eligible to bring a lawsuit for damages. Negligence is often the direct result of fatigue when the driver has been operating the truck in excess of Florida’s hours of service rules.

The Boca Raton truck accident lawyers at Kogan & DiSalvo will use all available evidence, including proof of violations of Florida and Federal hours of service rules, to recover full compensation for a motorist’s injuries and losses following a collision with a commercial vehicle. When drivers operate large trucks in an unsafe manner, they should be held accountable. Call our law offices immediately after your accident for a complimentary consultation with one of our experienced commercial truck accident attorneys.

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