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Commercial vehicle restrictions on hazmat carriers in Florida

As has been pointed out in past entries of this blog, there are many trucks on the road in Florida. These vehicles are mostly used to transport goods from place to place within the state, and to other areas on the country. Further, as Florida is a peninsula with several large port facilities, things coming from or going to other countries often travel through Florida on their way to their final destinations. Sometimes, the objects or substances being transported are those that may be dangerous to people if they come in contact with those materials, or if certain conditions are met.

These types of substances are generally called 'hazardous materials,' or 'hazmat' for short. This category can include anything from certain corrosive chemicals used in manufacturing processes, to flammable substances like gasoline, explosives, or even radioactive materials. As we have alluded to in the past, commercial vehicle accidents are likely to cause quite a bit of damage simply through the size and weight of the vehicles involved. When a hazmat load is added, the results of an accident in Florida can be simply catastrophic.

Because of this, the federal government has some specific rules that apply to tractor-trailers or other trucks carrying hazmat. For example, trucks carrying certain substances cannot be parked within 5 feet of a travelled road or highway, or on private property without notice to the owner of the property of the kinds of things contained in the vehicle. Also, in some situations, trucks with a hazmat load cannot be left unattended. Further, states can require that hazmat commercial vehicles only use certain routes that take them away from population centers. Generally, such trucks must also carry placards identifying them as hazmat vehicles.

The violation of any of these regulations could be incredibly dangerous for many people. Florida residents should always be careful on the road, but should take extra care in the presence of hazmat vehicles. When a person is injured due to a hazmat incident, there may be legal compensation available to that individual.

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