Fatigued driving is a significant problem among commercial truck drivers. Drivers often stay on the roads for long hours and throughout the night and no matter how much caffeine they may have, they can lose focus or even fall asleep behind the wheel. Losing control of a huge big rig truck can cause devastating injuries and damage, so there are regulations meant to prevent fatigued driving.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) strictly regulates a truck driver’s hours of service (HOS), limiting the consecutive hours and days they can drive without taking adequate breaks to rest. Many drivers or even trucking companies ignore these regulations, however, instead opting to push the limits to make more deliveries and more profits in a shorter period of time. This highly dangerous noncompliance is often masked by making false entries into logbooks. Drivers and companies are required to keep logs of their hours and those that use paper books can fairly easily fudge their shift times. This can make it difficult to determine or prove whether a truck driver was fatigued or in violation of HOS when they crashed.
New ELD Requirements
At the end of last year, the FMCSA announced a new rule that will go into effect in 2017 that requires commercial vehicles to use electronic logging devices (ELDs) instead of paper logbooks. The ELD will be connected to the truck’s engine and will automatically record when the truck was in motion and when it was not. This will, in theory, significantly reduce the possibility of false logbooks entries used to hide HOS violations.
The ELD requirement is first expected to reduce the number of fatigued commercial drivers on the road and, in turn, reduce fatigued driving truck accidents. In addition, if a crash does occur, the ELD will make it easier for victims to identify whether the truck driver was violating HOS regulations. When a driver violates safety regulations, they can more easily be held liable for all of the medical costs, lost income, and other losses of injured accident victims.
Call for a Free Consultation with a Michigan Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you have been injured in a commercial truck accident, you should not delay in calling Michigan Injury Lawyers to discuss your legal rights and options. We have experience handling complex truck cases, so call 313-GET-HELP to speak with our truck accident lawyers today.