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Electronic logging of truck driver hours to be required

Ohio motorists recognize that truck accidents can be some of the most deadly, especially in cases involving a fatigued driver. An accident that involves a dozing driver leaves little opportunity for the tired party to correct their actions, which means that impact could occur at a fast speed. Standards have become increasingly tough as the industry is required to manage driver fatigue. The most recent step involves a requirement for electronic documentation of driving time imposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Paper logs of trucking hours have been required since 1938. However, FMCSA officials indicate that there are some serious flaws in a paper-driven system for tracking details. For example, these types of logs can be altered easily to hide violations of time limitations. Some drivers might even keep two sets of driving logs to ensure that violations are hidden in case of an accident. With an electronic system in place to track driving activity, location information can be monitored as well as engine activity.

One of the potential pitfalls of electronic monitoring may be the ability of company owners or customers to request additional driving from those who have not reached their limits. Those who independently own and operate their own trucks have expressed concern that they are being required to invest in unproven technology. However, the FMCSA indicates that the paperwork reduction will result in at least $1 billion in savings annually for the industry. The new rule will become effective in January 2016, and companies will have two years to comply with the expectation to use the monitoring devices.

An individual who has been injured in an accident caused by truck driver fatigue may face a difficult road to recovery, and expenses can mount while the ability to work is affected. Having the assistance of an attorney in filing a personal injury lawsuit against the driver or company involved might be appropriate if benefits from automobile insurance carriers is insufficient to address the damages that have been incurred.

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