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Investigating Florida Commercial Truck Accidents

In 1986, Congress created The Commercial Motor Vehicles Safety Act (CMVSA) to make interstate trucking safer. The CMVSA places restrictions on who can operate a commercial truck or bus, ensuring that bus or truck drivers are qualified for their jobs and therefore safer on the road. With the CMVSA, testing and licensing standards were introduced, bringing fewer Florida bus accidents and truck accidents to our streets.

While the CMVSA has helped reduce truck accidents, there are still far too many truck accidents on our roads. After a truck accident, one thing that occurs is a thorough investigation of the accident in order to determine what caused the collision. Florida truck accidents may be investigated by police, private investigators, or other groups.

An investigation will often include a look at a driver’s logs. Under Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, drivers are required to record their breaks, driving time, and other information. This helps ensure that drivers take the required breaks and rests they are required to keep by law. Drivers are not allowed to destroy these logs, especially after an accident. Investigators can examine these logs to determine whether a truck driver was driving while tired.

If authorities suspect that a truck accident may have been a Florida drunk driving accident, they will often test a truck driver’s blood alcohol level and test for any illegal or controlled drugs as well. A driver’s medical record and medication may also be checked.

Investigators will also often examine the mechanical conditions of an accident. This may require examining the weather, road conditions, and the traffic at the time of an accident. Investigators sometimes use accident reconstruction software to determine exactly what occurred during a collision in specific conditions.

Most investigations will also examine trucking company records to determine whether a load was secured properly, whether a truck was maintained properly, and whether a trucking company took reasonable measures to keep the truck and the driver safe. Truck companies are required to maintain and release records when requested.