The FMCSA has issued a new rule mandating that commercial trucks must use electronic logbooks to help reduce the number of fatigue-related crashes.
According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, there were more than 5,000 trucking accidents across the state in 2014 alone. These types of collisions often result in serious injuries or death for those involved. Despite regulations aimed at limiting the hours that truckers spend on the road, truck crashes often occur due to trucker fatigue. In an effort to reduce the occurrence of such wrecks, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently issued a mandate changing how truck operators track their hours spent driving.
Electronic driving logs rule
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, recently announced its plans to implement a new logbook rule for commercial truck operators. The new rule specifies that truckers will have to use electronic logging devices to monitor their driving hours. In addition to monitoring their engine hours and miles driven, these devices will also automatically monitor vehicle movement and location.
The new rule will apply to truckers who operate model year 2001 and newer vehicles. According to the FMCSA, commercial vehicle operators must be in compliance with the new rule by December 18, 2017. However, there will be a four-year implementation period for those who are currently using automatic onboard recording devices.
New rule benefits truckers, drivers and others
When collisions involving commercial vehicles and cars, trucks or SUVs occur, it is often the drivers and occupants of the passenger vehicles who suffer serious injuries or death. This is, in large part, a result of the significant size difference between tractor trailers and the average passenger vehicles.
It is expected that truckers, other motorists, vehicle passengers and bystanders will all benefit from the new federal mandate. The electronic logging devices will help ensure truck drivers are in compliance with the hours of service rules, which may help reduce the number of fatigue-related truck crashes. According to the FMCSA, it is estimated that the new rule will prevent an average of 26 deaths and 562 injuries every year.
Seeking legal counsel
Trucking accidents in Minnesota and elsewhere may have devastating consequences for those involved. As a result of the injuries people may suffer in such crashes, they may require time off of work and extensive medical treatment. This may lead to lost income, as well as unexpected medical costs. Therefore, those who have suffered injuries in tractor trailer collisions may find it helpful to discuss their situation with an attorney. A lawyer may help them understand if fatigue or non-compliance with the hours of service regulations might have contributed to their wreck, as well as their options for pursuing compensation.