Drowsy driving is a consistent cause of many nighttime accidents, not the least of which involve truck drivers. Driving long hours, often through the night, can lead to extreme fatigue that may lead to dangerous accidents. However, electronic logging devices may now decrease the frequency of such incidents.
As of December of 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) now requires truck drivers to use electronic logging devices to record their driving hours. A machine will electronically link to the truck’s engine, tracking driving time in a more efficient way than old-fashioned paper logs, which were easily forged. This rule will impact roughly 3 million truck drivers across the United States.
Commercial truck drivers, as a rule, are prohibited from driving more than 10 consecutive hours and are required to take rest breaks. Unfortunately, when companies are on strict deadlines, drivers may often feel pressured to drive more than regulations dictate. Or, some drivers may be offered incentives and larger profits if they are able to make their destination in record time. Regardless of the reason, the strenuous schedule of such overwork can cause drivers to succumb to exhaustion while behind the wheel, thus putting themselves and everyone else on the road at risk.
Drowsy drivers have a tendency to drift off the road, or into surrounding walls, railing, or even oncoming traffic. Worse still, drivers who fall asleep at the wheel may crash blindly into stopped vehicles or other obstacles in front of them. Or, drivers in and out of sleep may jerk awake, causing them to swerve to over-correct their driving error, which can make a bad situation even worse. Collisions with commercial trucks are extremely dangerous because of their size and are more likely to be fatal than other types of motor vehicle crashes.
In order to enforce regulations, protecting both truck drivers and other vehicles on the road, the FMCSA will strictly enforce the use of E-logs. The FSMCSA estimates the switch from paper to electronic logs will prevent more than 1,800 accidents each year.
If you were injured in an accident with a drowsy driver or a commercial truck driver, contact The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC to find out if you have a personal injury claim.