Driving while drowsy is dangerous for everyone. However, it is especially dangerous when the driver of a large truck continues to drive while fatigued. The results can be deadly. Too frequently, drivers of large trucks drive long hours without rest breaks in order to meet deadlines and to earn more money. Now the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is taking steps to curb that practice.
The FMSCA has mandated the number of hours a truck driver is allowed to be on the road without a break. Drivers are allowed a period of 14 consecutive hours within which they can drive 11 hours after they have had a 10-hour break. These regulations were put into place for the safety of drivers and others on the road. For years, drivers recorded their hours using paper and pen. This system allowed many drivers to skirt the rules and drive longer than the mandated hours. Hundreds of drivers who had driven long hours were making the roads unsafe.
Electronic Logging Devices
The FMSCA has now mandated that the drivers of large trucks use electronic logging devices to record the amount of time they have been driving. The rule went into effect in December of 2017, but all carriers and drivers were mandated to make the switch by December 16, 2019. This change affects almost all long-haul trucks.
Electronic logging devices are able to monitor a vehicle’s engine to capture data about how long the engine has been running, how many miles have been driven, and the duration of engine operation. These devices make it nearly impossible to cheat the system. Law enforcement can now view a driver’s hours of service by checking the electronic logging device’s screen or a printout of the data collected. Soon, information from the devices will be retrieved electronically.
The goal of electronic logging devices is to keep truck drivers honest and safer. Since the rule began in December of 2017, there has been a decrease in hours-of-service violations. The hope is that the use of these devices will have a substantial impact in the long run as it prevents sleep-deprived drivers from getting behind the wheel.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we’ve been helping the victims of truck accidents for over 50 years. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.