Commercial truck drivers spend long days staring at monotonous highways. Even though their work is largely sedentary, keeping focused on the road and control of their huge trucks can require a lot of energy. It is no surprise that truck drivers can get extremely fatigued after a long shift. If drivers continue to drive with fatigue, they risk crashing and causing devastating injuries to motorists.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the number of hours and days a driver can work to try to prevent fatigued driving crashes. The FMCSA requires drivers and trucking companies to keep records of the hours on the road so that they can be audited to demonstrate compliance with the hours of service regulations. The majority of trucking companies still use paper logbooks to keep track of hours.
The more deliveries a trucking company can make, the higher their profits. In order to make as much money as possible, many companies push their drivers to the limit and some even allow them to drive more hours than allowed by law. By using paper logbooks, drivers and companies can record inaccurate driving shifts to mask any FMCSA violations. This practice is extremely dangerous and results in an increased number of accidents, such as the one that caused comedian Tracy Morgan’s serious brain injury in 2014. That trucker was finally accused of driving 24 hours in violation of the FMCSA rules.
To prevent accidents and injuries from fatigued driving, regulators are requiring that all trucking companies have digital recording systems in place by the end of 2017. These digital systems are intended to more accurately track hours driven and prevent trucking companies from lying about hours in their logs. Hopefully, this will decrease the number of fatigued driving truck accidents.
Proving a truck driver was fatigued is challenging, so you need a highly experienced truck accident lawyer handling your case. If you need assistance after a crash in Minnesota or anywhere in the U.S., please do not hesitate to call McEwen & Kestner, PLLC – The Trucking Lawyers at 800-732-3070 today.