The Sleep Help Institute recently reported about the increasing risk of exhausted truckers on the nation’s roads.
It’s a timely reminder as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration moves to make electronic data recorders mandatory for tracking Hours-of-Service compliance in the commercial trucking industry. Logging software (apps) and paper logbooks are no longer permitted to track commercial driving hours as of Dec. 18, 2017.
Between now and the end of 2019, nearly all commercial truckers will be required to switch to Electronic Logging Devices approved by the FMCSA. During this final transition to ELDs, some Automatic On Board Recording Devices will still be in use, but even those are a far cry from the decades of reliance upon a truckers’ handwritten logbook to determine compliance with the law.
DETERMINING HOS COMPLIANCE IN OHIO TRUCK COLLISIONS
Federal Hours-of-Service (HOS) rules have been recently updated in an effort to reduce the risk of tired truckers on the nation’s roads. Commercial freight haulers are limited to 11 hours of drive time after 10 consecutive hours off duty. Drivers are not permitted to drive more than 14 hours after coming on duty. Drivers are also required to take a 30-minute break every 8 hours and may not drive more than 60 hours a week. Drivers hauling passengers are subject to additional limitations.
More than with many other types of accident cases, it’s critical your Columbus truck accident attorney has significant experience in handling tractor-trailer collisions and other types of commercial vehicle accidents. Determining HOS compliance is just one of the many issues with which your attorney must contend in order to prevail in your case.
Proving Negligence in Commercial Accident Claims
Even identifying all parties responsible for a trucking collision can be a complex matter. Trucking companies are adept at limiting liability by hiring independent contractors, contracting maintenance services, leasing trucks and equipment, and establishing limited liability corporations. Commercial trucking insurers are equally dedicated to limiting liability and reducing accident losses.
Additionally, your Columbus injury lawyer will be dealing with both state and federal regulations and out-of-state truck drivers, insurance companies, freight owners and trucking companies. Identifying all responsible parties is critical to a successful claim because most trucking collisions result in very serious injury to victims in passenger vehicles.
While HOS data recorders are a good first step, safety advocates continue to push for more trucking regulations. Far too many bad drivers are allowed to leave a trucking company and go to work for another after disciplinary action for serious violations, including accidents and drug use.
With a booming economy and a nationwide trucker shortage of more than 50,000 drivers, the risk of dangerous commercial drivers is a serious safety issue for everyone on the road. Holding irresponsible drivers and trucking companies responsible can help keep them off the road. In the event of a crash, contact Michael D. Christensen Law Offices LLC.