At Roberts & Harris PC, our truck accident attorneys in Raleigh know that everyone in North Carolina can benefit from safer highways. A step in the right direction begins with truck drivers following all the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) guidelines and regulations.
While the list of guidelines is long, one of the major compliance issues that impact public safety on our roadways is truck drivers violating federal Hours of Service regulations.
Before the federal rules that were adopted last year required electronic logging devices in commercial trucks, drivers were only required to keep manual logs of their drive time and mandatory rest breaks.
If they were not truthfully filling out their logbooks, there was little anyone could do about it. This led to a substantial number of commercial truck crashes, injuries, and fatalities in North Carolina and across the nation.
Our Raleigh Personal Injury Attorney sincerely hope that the mandatory automated logging devices reduce the possibility that truck drivers would skip mandatory rest breaks and falsify their driving logs, so our roads can become safer with every trip they make.
What are Automated Truck Driving Logging Devices Expected to Accomplish?
For property-carrying commercial trucks, truck drivers are allotted an 11-hour driving limit
after 10 consecutive hours off duty, or a 14-hour driving limit total. That means the driver may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.
Before the automated logging devices became mandatory, drivers could skip rest breaks by altering the manual records. They would do this for multiple reasons, including to meet employer demands, or to make it home to their families faster.
This led to fatigued driving, which is a fundamental problem in the trucking industry and has been a top cause of accidents among long-haul commercial truckers for years.
With a change to electronic logging devices, the software is directly connected to a truck’s engine and other components to record the date and time of movement and miles driven, capture engine data, and keep dispatchers informed of the driver’s status in real time.
Before the electronic logging devices are installed in semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles, the FMCSA must certify them.
The FMCSA reported that the electronic logging devices are intended to create a safer work environment for commercial truck drivers across the nation, and make it easier to accurately track and share data on driving and off-duty time.
While this may be true, truck drivers may still be negligently operating their vehicles through distractions, speeding, or while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, causing catastrophic accidents, injuries, and fatalities throughout North Carolina. They must be liable for their recklessness.
Contact Our Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys in Raleigh, North Carolina Today
If you or someone you love was injured or killed in a collision with a semi-truck or another commercial vehicle in North Carolina, we can help you pursue the truck driver, the trucking company, or a combination of parties for your full financial recovery.