Florida’s Truck Lane Restrictions
There are more commercial vehicles on the road than ever before, which has led to worse traffic and an increase in truck accidents. In fact, many states, including Florida have placed lane restrictions on commercial vehicles to help avoid these problems. These truck lanes seek to reduce the number of lane changes attempted without affecting speed and are common throughout Florida. For instance, there have been restrictions in place on I-95 in South Florida for 30 years. According to the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), these restrictions reduce weaving during passing and in so doing, prevent potential truck crashes with other vehicles.
Current Truck Lane Restrictions
In addition to the restrictions on I-95 and I-75, the FDOT enforces lane restrictions on the following highways:
- Interstate 4, where no trucks are permitted in the left lane from Kissimmee to the Tampa Airport;
- Interstate 4, from the Tampa Airport to Osprey, where trucks with more than six wheels are restricted to the right two lanes;
- The Florida Turnpike, where no trucks are permitted in the left lane between the Broward/Miami-Dade border to Kendall; and
- The Florida Turnpike, where no trucks are allowed in the left lane between Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay.
Florida’s truck lane restrictions also apply to six-lane interstate freeways, primarily those made up of rural interstate sections, where left and inside travel lanes are reserved only for automobile traffic. By complying with these restrictions, truck drivers can significantly reduce their chances of causing a truck accident. Unfortunately, the existence of these restricted lanes is not a guarantee of safety.
Defensive Driving Techniques
While truck lane restrictions were put in place to help protect the drivers of passenger vehicles, collisions between cars and commercial trucks still can and do occur. For this reason, it’s important to practice defensive driving techniques whenever sharing the road with a commercial vehicle, such as:
- Avoiding the truck’s blind spots, which are much larger on commercial trucks than on standard passenger cars;
- Remaining aware of the long stopping distances of most commercial vehicles;
- Anticipating the truck’s wide turns;
- Leaving adequate following distance; and
- Leaving enough space before attempting to pass or merge.
Unfortunately, even drivers who use the greatest of care and utilize all of these defensive driving techniques could end up involved in a truck accident, maybe even because a truck driver violated the left-lane restrictions or due to some other form of negligence. When this happens, victims can seek compensation from the trucking company for its failure to properly train and supervise its employees. Successful claimants could recover compensation for accident-related medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and even pain and suffering.
Contact Our Experienced Fort Lauderdale Truck Accident Attorneys Today
The dedicated Florida truck accident lawyers at Boone & Davis are available to speak with you about your own truck accident and potential legal options. Call us at 954-566-9919 or send our legal team an online message to get started on your case today.