Hours-of-service violations can lead to truck accidents

According to a recent study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration—the agency responsible for regulating the United States trucking industry—companies that use trucks with electronic hours-of-service recording devices may be able to lower their truck accident rates. The study specifically found that trucks utilizing the electronic devices had an 11.7 percent lower accident rate compared to trucks that didn’t.

In addition the reduced crash ratings, trucks using electronic hours-of-service recording devices were 53 percent less likely to be cited for hours-of-service violations, and 49 percent less likely to have non-driving hours-of-service violations. The rules themselves, which can be found on the agency’s website, include the well-known 11-hour driving limit, required rest breaks, and various other rules.

One of the main goals of the hours-of-service regulations is to ensure that truckers are well rested when they’re on the road. Truck driver fatigue is not an uncommon occurrence and has led to many accidents. When truckers and trucking companies fail to abide by hours-of-service regulations, they put not only themselves and their businesses at risk, but also other drivers on the road.

Those who have been harmed by a negligent truck driver should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to determine their options for recovery and compensation. It is especially important in such cases to be aware of what regulations apply to truckers, as this can be used to establish negligence. In cases where hours-of-service violations contributed to the accident, this is an obvious target in a personal injury case.

Source: Fleet Owner, “Trucks with electronic logs have fewer crashes, study finds,” Avery Vise, May 12, 2014.