Semi Trucks have their own road laws, including truck size regulations and driver limitations, in order to ensure the safety of those around them. Along with following all traffic laws in the State they are traveling, Semi Trucks also have to adhere to the following regulations.
Federal Size Regulations
- Maximum Width: 8 feet 6 inches
Exception: A semitrailer that exceeds the width due to a necessary safety device approved by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
- Maximum Height: 13 feet 6 inches.
- Maximum Length: 48 feet, measured from the front of the unit to the rear of the unit.
Exception: A semitrailer that exceeds 48 feet in length may still operate in Florida if they have a permit, the vehicle must still meet vehicle equipment and safety requirements.
*All Regulations include any additional width, height, or length added by the load carried.
There are certain limitations on the amount of hours a truck driver is allowed to drive. For example, if a truck driver is working 14 hours in one day, they can only drive for a maximum of 11 hours. Afterwards, they are required to rest for at least 10 hours before driving their truck again.
Drivers are also limited in the amount of hours they can drive during a seven or eight day period as well. During a seven day period, a truck driver can drive up to 77 hours, and up to 88 hours in an eight day period. After the truck and its driver have been off the road for 60 consecutive hours, their work period can start over.
Since a leading cause of semi truck accidents is truck driver fatigue, these laws and regulations were created to limit the number of hours that a truck driver can operate a truck. This not only allows truck drivers time to rest, but also to reduces truck accidents caused by truck driver fatigue.
Even though truck drivers and trucking companies are bound by law to follow these rules, there are many who don’t. The main reason truck drivers break these hours of service is to keep their job, make more money, or to adhere to tight delivery schedules.
It is important to know that these trucks accelerate slowly and because of their size, they have huge blind spots. Use extra caution when you pass them or when traveling beside one. Just as semi trucks have their own set of laws they need to follow, so do you as a driver of the road. If you follow these laws and use caution, then your safety, and the safety of those around you, can be ensured.