For most people, commuting to work is likely the longest consecutive amount of time they spend behind the wheel every day. For truck drivers, however, their job responsibilities require long hours on the road. Often, truck drivers are compensated based on the distance they have traveled. Consequently, many have been known to continue driving even when they feel fatigued.
In response, federal safety standards exist, which dictate the amount of time truck drivers may spend on the road before they must take a break. Despite these hours of service regulations, many truck drivers are pressured by the companies for which they work to drive in excess of the hours allowed by law. As a result, some have been known to alter their written logbooks to appear as if they are in conformity with the law. By falsely logging their hours worked, truck drivers put themselves at risk of driving while fatigued and other motorists are risk of being involved in a severe or fatal truck accident.
In an effort to combat this serious problem, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently proposed a new rule. The rule would require all truck drivers to use electronic logging devices to record their hours worked. The FMCSA has noted multiple benefits of such a system, as it would not only cut down on logbook falsification but also reduce the amount of paperwork truck drivers are required to complete.
According to the FMCSA, adoption of the rule is expected to result in 20 fewer fatalities and 434 fewer injuries caused by truck accidents in the United States every year.
In total, there were more than 129,000 truck accidents in the United States in 2012 – of those, over 12 percent were the result of an impaired driver, which includes drivers who were fatigued at the time of the collision.
Truck accidents a serious issue in Missouri
When other motor vehicle operators are involved in a collision with a large truck, the results can be devastating. In Missouri, 92 people were killed in accidents involving large trucks in 2012, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident in Missouri or if you have lost a loved one in such a crash, you should be aware of your rights to recover damages to account for the harm caused in the collision. Taking the time to consult with a skilled personal injury attorney can ensure you do not miss out on compensation to which you are entitled.