Trucker fatigue is one of the possible causes of semi-truck accidents. There are rules set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that aim to give truckers suitable rest time in between shifts. These rules also set limits on how many consecutive hours a trucker can work, how many hours the trucker can work in a 7-day period and how breaks must be handled for the truckers. Up until now, the enforcement of these rules has hinged largely on the paper logs that truckers are required to keep. That is now changing.
The FMCSA is issuing a new rule that requires truckers to use electronic logs instead of paper logs. The new electronic laws take out the possibility of the truckers being able to change records or keep two sets of records to make it seem like they are in compliance with the hours of service rules.
All told, the FCMA estimates that around 26 lives will be saved annually thanks to the new rules. Additionally, around 562 injuries each year could be prevented. This could be a positive change if those estimates are proven to be accurate.
The electronic logs will keep track of a variety of factors, including the location of the vehicle, the miles that are driven and the engine hours to help monitor the driving time of the trucker. All of these together will provide a host of information that can help people who are injured in a truck accident to determine if trucker fatigue might have contributed to the accident. It can also provide valuable proof that can be used if the victim opts to seek compensation.
Source: CNBC, “New rule: Truck drivers must electronically record hours,” Joan Lowy, Dec. 10, 2015