High-Tech Tracking Will Protect Truckers & Public on America’s Highways/Interstates
The American economy depends on truckers. Semis carry goods to all corners of the country, fueling businesses large and small in Kentucky and elsewhere.
But big rigs also represent danger. The average passenger car doesn’t stand a chance against a massive 18-wheeler, and injuries suffered in a semi crash can be catastrophic. That’s why we count on the trucking industry to self-police, because lives are at risk.
The concerns of business are real, however, and semi drivers are under pressure to deliver on time. Regulations have been put in place to limit how many hours they may drive on a given day and requiring mandatory rest periods.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, imposes a strict limit of 11 hours of driving in a given day and only after 10 consecutive hours off duty. Truckers must take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift and the maximum work week is limited to 70 hours.
These guidelines protect the trucker from the demands of his or her employer, but they also protect the traveling public from injury or worse.
Studies have shown that reflexes slow and faculties fade after many hours of driving. According to the FMSCA, working long hours on a continuous basis is associated with chronic fatigue and a higher risk of crashes.
But regulations have proven difficult to enforce. For years, the trucking industry relied on the honor system. Drivers kept simple pen-and-paper logs of their activity that they turned in at the end of a run.
Needless to say this system was prone to abuse. Many truckers are paid by the mile and late deliveries can hurt profits.
It would seem those days are coming to and end. Regulators have recently stepped in and are poised to use technology to crack down on trucking abuses.
By December 2017, carriers must comply with the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate passed by Congress in 2012. The mandate went into effect in December 2015 and gave trucking companies two years to comply.
ELDs will track engine hours, location data and vehicle movement. Truckers will no longer be able to falsify logs and trucking companies will no longer be able to skirt federal regulations.
The legislation has caused a rift in the trucking industry, as independent owner-operators have fought to maintain control of their own business practices. But many in trucking and the larger transportation sphere agree that ELDs will be a force for good.
Kentucky and the rest of the United States depends on the trucking industry. Truckers and motorists alike should be glad that their roadways will be just a little safer by the end of the year.
The deadline for full compliance with the ELD mandate is Dec. 18, 2017.
If you’ve been involved in an accident with a semi, don’t wait. Contact the Kentucky accident attorneys at Rhoads & Rhoads. Our experienced staff will guide you through every step of the process to ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries.
Call us today for a FREE initial consultation and to see how we can get to work for you: 888-709-9329.