Truck accidents can be horrific events and extremely deadly due to the size and weight of semi-trucks, especially fully loaded ones. All you have to do is Google semi-truck crashes on YouTube to see how dangerous they can be.
Because these monsters on the road are so inherently dangerous, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has enacted strict rules about the number of hours that a truck driver can drive in a day – rules that truckers are in the habit of breaking.
Why the concern about the number of hours that truckers log in a 24-hour period? Because, when truckers push the limits and drive through the night and for hours on end, their bodies become fatigued. Fatigued driving can be extremely dangerous. It can be as bad as drunk driving and it has led to countless fatalities over the years.
What Are the Hours of Service Regulations?
The FMCSA has created what’s called the Hours of Service Regulations, which you can see here. For example, under these regulations truckers have an 11-hour limit. Meaning, they can drive for a maximum 11 hours, but only after they’ve been off duty for 10 hours.
In order to hold truckers accountable, they used to have to log their hours in a log book, but unfortunately, truckers were in the habit of falsifying these log books. For years, federal authorities have been on to these deceitful practices, and at last they came up with a way to make it harder for truckers to cheat the system.
According to a post from Nov. 15, 2017 by wnep.com, “Trucking companies across the United States will soon enter a new era when it comes to logging drivers’ time on the road.” The news outlet, “Traditionally, drivers use paper logs to prove they didn’t drive too long in one day. But starting next month, tractor-trailers will be required to have electronic logging devices.”
Related: Risks of Overloaded & Improperly Loaded Trucks
As of December 18, 2017, federal law mandated that trucking companies use electronic logging as a part of “Map 21,” an initiative meant to “reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and busses,” according to the FMCSA.