Truck drivers deserve a safe working environment, and motorists deserve a safe place to drive. Unfortunately, sometimes truckers and drivers do not get what they deserve. There are situations where truckers end up having to drive for many hours in a day. Sometimes truckers remain behind the wheel longer than is safe, particularly considering they are responsible for 80,000 pounds of cargo. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations are supposed to stop truckers from driving when they are too tired, but the rules do not always work as intended.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety has passed an important rule aimed at preventing truck accidents by making sure truckers are able to make safe driving decisions. In fact, the new rule will essentially force truckers to do the right thing when it comes to drowsy driving, even if the truck driver might not necessarily have followed best practices for safety if left to his own devices.
Prevention of Drowsy Driving Truck Accidents
Truckers have daily and weekly time limits for how many hours they can drive. For example, truckers usually have to stop for a 30 minute break after eight hours of driving. They aren't allowed to work more than a 14 hour shift or drive more than 11 hours over the course of a single day.
The problem with these regulations is that they rely on truckers to accurately track their time in on-duty logs. Truckers sometimes make mistakes in the process, resulting in them accidentally driving too long. Truckers and trucking companies may also sometimes manipulate data in on-duty logs in order for truckers to be able to drive even after he has driven for the maximum allowable number of hours.
When a trucker drives for too long, they can start to experience the effects of fatigue, such as impaired judgement. This heightens the risk of a collision. FMCSA has now taken another positive step to solve this problem, with a mandate passing in 2015 that will require virtually all truck drivers and trucking companies to install electronic logging devices into all commercial trucks. There are a few limited exceptions to this mandate, such as for infrequent drivers. However, the mandate largely applies across the board.
The requirement for electronic logging will result in less paperwork and more accurate data that cannot be manipulated. Over Drive indicates that $1 billion should be saved each year because of the electronic logging mandate since there will be less paperwork. More importantly, the prevention of truck crashes means lives will be saved and fewer truck accident injuries.