Trucking Accidents: a Thing of the Past?

Commercial truck drivers are often being pushed to their physical limits and beyond to meet competitive and highly demanding schedules on the road. A few months ago we saw the devastating consequences when a tired tractor-trailer driver tragically injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed another passenger when he fell asleep at the wheel.

When it comes to the safety of you or your loved ones, a newly proposed law may make tired truckers and trucking accidents a thing of the past.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced in March a new proposal that would mandate electronic logging devices (ELDs) in commercial vehicles.

Electronic logging devices will make it harder for drivers and trucking companies to distort hours spent on the road, which is currently kept by paper logs in most trucks and is even referred to by some as “comic books” because they can be easily falsified.

ELDs will integrate with commercial vehicle engines to determine speed, motion, miles and hours driven. ELDs will also be tamper-proof and will allow local law enforcement officials to link with commercial vehicles to determine the operation of these vehicles.

The American Trucking Association is at the forefront of welcoming the newly mandated changes in commercial transportation and believes it will greatly improve the safety of the public and the drivers as the logging of driving time can no longer be falsified. Large numbers of companies have already made the switch from paper to electronic logging.

The newly mandated ELDs will also reduce harassment of commercial drivers by making it easier to penalize employers who impose overly aggressive and demanding schedules or ill-timed intrusions of drivers’ rest or sleep schedules.

The new rule is expected to take effect in 2016.