Federal trucking regulations mandate electronic trucking logs

Truck drivers in Florida and across the United States are required to follow certain rules and regulations enacted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. One important regulation involves the trucking log that drivers must complete to detail the amount of time they have spent on the road. This is to avoid the risk of a truck accident due to truck driver fatigue. Since drivers spend so much time on the road and frequently travel lengthy distances, the FMCSA seeks to ensure that drivers adhere to the required rest time.

It was recently announced that drivers of trucks will have to completely transition from handwritten trucking logs to electronic logs by Dec. 10, 2017. Although many companies and truckers have already changed from the handwritten logs to electronic logs, not everyone has. This law will mandate that it be done in two years. Drivers are required to spend a limited time on the road and must take a certain amount of time for rest to reduce the chance of a truck accident due to driving while fatigued.

The benefit of an electronic log is that it is more difficult for a driver to manipulate or outright falsify the log. If the driver is being pressured by the employer to get the delivery to its destination as quickly as possible or the driver will derive some benefit by completing the job faster, it is possible that the log might not be as accurate as it should be. If a driver does this, it can place others in danger of being injured or killed in a crash. Since trucks are so large and travel at such a high rate of speed, those in a smaller vehicle are likely to be hurt in an accident with a truck.

If there is a crash, the investigation will examine the trucking log to determine whether or not the driver had adhered to federal trucking regulations. Although these adaptations are designed to improve safety, that does not mean every trucker or employer will follow the new rules. A driver who failed to follow the rules regarding a trucking log — whether it is handwritten or electronic — can cause an accident. In order to determine whether or not the regulations were followed, those involved in a trucking accident should discuss their case with a qualified legal professional to move forward with a legal filing to be compensated.

Source: businessinsurance.com, “Truckers to fully commit to electronic logging while driving,” Donna Mahoney, Dec. 11, 2015

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