The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have been monitoring truck driver fatigue and the role it plays in accidents for a long time.
In 2007, a report published by both agencies found that fatigue was a “critical factor” in 13 percent of all accident which involved large, commercial vehicles. This means that those accidents would have been much less likely to occur if the drivers had been rested.
How lawmakers have dealt with tired truck driving
In an effort to combat fatigue in the trucking industry, trucking companies across the US are now required to use Electronic Logging Devices, or ELDs, to monitor the exact amount of time a truck driver is spending on the road. These devices have been largely supported across the industry. With these devices, a driver is only able to drive 11 hours a day. If they drive for longer than that, the driver and the company are hit with a fine.
While these fines help keep trucking companies from overworking their employees, they are also making it difficult for truck drivers to find a safe place to rest for the night. If, at the end of their delivery, the driver is at that crucial 11-hour mark, they are in a very difficult position. Either they sleep in their truck right where it is parked, which is often not an option, or else they must travel to a safe parking spot and, in doing so, go over their limit and get hit with a fine.
In light of this new information, the FMCSA has now ruled that any driving time spent getting the driver to a safe parking place at the end of the shift is considered “off-duty personal conveyance” time and does not violate the Hours of Service rule.
ELDs hold Employers Accountable
The West Virginia truck accident attorneys at Klie Law Offices know the strain and pressure the industry places on drivers and applaud any measures that help keep the roads safer. Electronic Logging Devices also help to hold trucking companies and drivers responsible if an accident is caused.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash caused by a tired truck driver, contact us today. We fight for the rights of the injured.