Time and again I have discussed the dangers of sharing the road with large, semi-trucks and tractor-trailers. One of the most dangerous conditions is truck drivers who are exhausted because they are driving in excess of the maximum number of hours permitted by law. However, a new law may help reduce or completely eliminate this unlawful practice.
Truck drivers in Georgia must now abide by a new regulation passed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) earlier this year, which requires the installation of electronic logging devices in all trucks. These devices will automatically and digitally log the number of hours a trucker drives for and how many total miles were driven. The data recorded by these devices will be used to report the number of driving hours’ truckers have driven, as required by federal law.
The new devices will replace the handwritten journals previously maintained by truck drivers to show that they did not drive above the maximum hours permitted by law. The issue with these journals was that truckers often altered these logs or kept two (2) separate journals (one with actual hours driven, the other containing falsified data) for the purpose of proving compliance with the law when, in reality, these drivers were on the road for too long. Some truck drivers drive in excess of the number of hours allowed to earn extra money, while others are forced to do so by their employers, or risk being fired.
The FMCSA’s new regulation requires all truckers, their employers, carriers and shippers to install the electronic logging devices by the start of 2018. The only trucks exempt from the law are dump trucks and trucks manufactured before the year 2000. FMCSA officials aim to get rid of falsified trucker journals and the inherent dangers posed by fatigued truck drivers.
As the FMCSA points out, large commercial vehicles and trucks are so dangerous due to their enormous size and weight. Motorists involved in crashes with trucks often sustain extremely serious, lifelong injuries and even death. Operating large trucks when you are overtired is a recipe for disaster for everyone on the road.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident with a large truck, it is critical to hire a personal injury lawyer in your jurisdiction who knows the law. The highly qualified attorneys at Murphy & Garner, LLC have decades of experience in personal injury and wrongful death cases resulting from a trucking or car accident.