Truck driver fatigue is one of the major causes of truck accidents across the country. In fact, about 18% of all truck accidents list driver fatigue as at least one factor in the accident. The result is that truck driver fatigue results in hundreds of accidents each year, as well as dozens of fatalities.
The U.S. government takes truck driver fatigue very seriously and recently re-examined the regulations regarding the necessary amount of rest drivers must get. One requirement is that drivers take at least a 30-minute break within the first eight hours of driving. Another is that drivers take longer breaks between long trips, ensuring that they get substantial periods of actual rest. In the past, drivers have been able to keep their own paper logs, documenting the time they spend on the road versus the time spent resting.
However, this system lends itself to abuse. Over-worked truck drivers are often pressured by their employers to get from one destination to another as quickly as possible. This encourages truck drivers to get as little rest as they can. In some cases, truck drivers have fraudulently filled out their rest logs or kept two sets of rest logs in order to get around the requirement and to make their employer happy.
Thankfully, this will no longer be possible due to a new regulation released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. According to one news source, under the new regulation truck drivers must have an electronic monitoring system installed in their vehicle, which will digitally record the amount of time the truck is running, track the amount of miles traveled, and monitor the vehicle’s location.
The new electronic recording devices will be much more difficult to tamper with, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. In fact, the Administration estimates that the new technology will avoid 562 accidents each year, saving approximately 26 lives annually. The requirement will go into effect in the next few months, and once it does truck drivers will have two years to install the necessary equipment. In the meantime, truck drivers will still be able to use the old method of recording their rest logs on paper.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Truck Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Maryland truck accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation based on the truck driver’s negligence. There are many potential causes of a truck accident, and drowsy driving is just one. To learn more about Maryland truck accidents, and to speak with a dedicated Maryland personal injury attorney about your case, call 410-654-3600 to set up a free consultation with an attorney at the personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers. The skilled advocates at Lebowitz & Mzhen have decades of combined experience handling truck accident cases, and we know how to help our clients pursue damages for their injuries. Call today.
More Blog Posts:
NHTSA Seeks Additional Safety Feature in Hopes of Reducing Fatal Under-Ride Accidents, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published December 17, 2015.
Dump Trucks: Some of the Most Dangerous Vehicles on the Road, Maryland Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog, published December 10, 2015.