Electronic Log Books in Truck Accidents
Tired Truck Drivers Are Dangerous
Under federal law, truck drivers are restricted in terms of the number of hours that they can spend behind the wheel for a single stretch before stopping to rest. Specifically, interstate truck drivers are subject to the hours of service (HOS) regulations that are enacted and enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The HOS regulations exist with the purpose of preventing truck driver fatigue and cutting down on the rates of serious collisions caused by tired truckers. Unfortunately, it is a relatively simple matter to violate the HOS regulations and get away with it.
All that is currently required by law is for the driver to maintain records in a traditional paper log book. Such records can easily be falsified in order to make it appear that the driver has been in compliance with the HOS regulations. The incentive to do so is considerable. Drivers who are paid by the mile can squeeze in more mileage in any given day, thereby padding out their paychecks. Trucking companies can maximize their profits and increase the bottom line by making more deliveries in a shorter period of time. By violating the HOS regulations, however, they place everyone else on the road at risk of serious injury or death in serious truck accidents.
Truck Accident Attorney Explains Black Boxes
In an effort to crack down on HOS violations, the FMCSA has proposed new regulations that would require trucking companies to install electronic on-board recorders in the vehicles that make up their fleets. These devices are essentially black boxes that automatically record the time periods during which the vehicle is in motion. With an electronic log book in place, the trucker has no choice but to follow the rules and get the necessary rest to drive safely. Violations are automatically logged, and there is an indisputable record in the event of an accident.
Even though the use of black boxes has not yet been made mandatory, a large percentage of trucking companies in the industry have already made the move to install the devices in their fleets. At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., we support this effort on the part of responsible truck companies to make the roads safer for everyone. When we represent a client who has been injured or lost a loved one in a truck collision, we investigate the evidence provided by these black boxes in order to determine whether the driver is guilty of an HOS violation. Contact us now for a free consultation with a personal injury attorney and to learn more.
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At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., our experienced attorneys have decades of experience fighting the trucking industry. All of our partners have been named to the Super Lawyers® list every year since 2011, and have also been past Presidents of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington D.C.