According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were roughly 129,120 accidents involving large trucks or buses on U.S. highways in 2012 alone. With crash figures such as this, it is no wonder why the federal agency is doing whatever it can to make the roads safer.
In its most recent attempt to get truck drivers to adhere to federal safety regulations, the FMCSA has released a proposed rule that would require commercial truckers to replace their manual logbooks with electronic logging devices (ELD). It is believed that the use of ELDs would not only reduce paperwork for trucking companies but also improve compliance with the current rules that dictate the amount of hours a truck driver can remain behind the wheel without taking a break.
In fact, the FMCSA contends that the proposed ELD rule will, if put into effect, make it harder for truckers to misrepresent their driving time in their logbooks, thus reducing the likelihood of driver fatigue and improving roadway safety. Interestingly, according to estimate provided by the FMCSA, the newly proposed rule would result in an annual safety benefit of $394.8 million, as well as prevent roughly 20 traffic fatalities and 430 injuries every year – largely due to the reduction in trucking accidents caused by fatigued drivers.
Other Issues That May Lead To Trucking Accidents
Sadly, truck driver fatigue is mere one byproduct of the strict driving schedules shouldered by most truckers. Indeed, in an effort to meet short deadlines, many drivers not only lose sleep but the maintenance of the trucks may also suffer. For instance, hectic schedules may result in the failure to make adequate inspections of trucks, which can lead to improperly maintained brakes, tires or even lights. Tragically, any one of these issues can lead to a trucking accident.
Ultimately, victims of trucking accidents need to be aware that they can often hold truck drivers liable for their injuries caused by an accident, particularly in circumstances in which a trucker’s actions were considered negligent. Additionally, the trucking company itself may also be liable in situations in which a truck was not properly maintained.
However, establishing liability following a trucking accident can be a complex process as fault may be assigned differently depending on the circumstances. Accordingly, it is often best to consult with an experienced trucking accident attorney if you have been injured in a collision with a tractor-trailer. A skilled attorney can help investigate the cause of your accident and assist in filing any potential claims.