Back in December 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that it was implementing a new rule that would require truck operators to use electronic logging devices to log their driving hours. The FMCSA gave truck companies and drivers two years to comply with the new regulation. The date the rule goes into effect – December 16, 2017 – is quickly approaching.
Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Regulations
Under the new rule, drivers who are currently required to keep paper logs will now be required to record the information into an ELD. The new rule does not apply to drivers who are operating vehicles that were manufactured before the year 2000.
There are two other exceptions to the new rule. If a driver keeps records for eight or fewer days out of every 30 working days, they will not be required to use an ELD. Truck drivers who are in tow- or drive-away operations are also not required.
There will be an estimated 3.5 million commercial truck drivers the new rule will affect, with more than 500,000 trucks required to be equipped with ELDs.
How Will the New Rule Help?
The FMCSA estimates that implementing ELDs instead of paper logs will prevent more than 1,800 truck accidents each year because these electronic logs will remove fatigued truck drivers off the road, saving at least 25 lives each year and saving over 500 victims from being seriously injured. The electronic logging devices will also save the trucking industry and law enforcement agencies a combined cost of $1.6 billion in paperwork costs.
Fatigued Driving Truck Crashes
One of the most dangerous things on the road is a truck driver, operating an 18-wheeler, who has not had enough sleep. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that more than 8,000 truck crashes each year are caused by fatigued truck drivers.
Although there are stringent regulations regarding how many hours per day/week a truck driver is allowed to operate, in too many cases, those rules are often ignored because the truck driver is under enormous pressure to deliver his cargo on an almost impossible time schedule set by the carrier. Drivers are forced to take shorter breaks, and many of them turn to prescription and over-the-counter medications to help keep them awake. Far too often, and with alarming frequency, the results of truck drivers being fatigued ends in horrific tragedy.
The new electronic logging device rule will help ensure that a truck driver has gotten the required hours of rest before he gets back behind the wheel of the huge vehicle he is responsible for.
Contact a Professional Carolinas Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, contact a seasoned North Carolina truck accident attorney to discuss what legal options you may have against all parties who may be at-fault for the accident. Our N.C. accident law firm understands that injuries from these types of accidents are often catastrophic and have successfully represented many clients in getting the financial compensation they deserved for their injuries.