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Federal proposal would cut back on truck driver fatigue

It’s an all-too-easy scenario to imagine. A truck driver has been on the road for many hours. It’s late at night, and he starts to feel a bit tired. Another hours passes, and now he feels very groggy. He struggles to keep his eyes open — yet he still remains behind the wheel and on the road. After all, he has a delivery schedule to keep. What do you expect him to do, act in a safe and responsible manner by pulling over and getting some sleep?

Sarcasm aside, the reality is that some drivers really do ignore their bodies, and they drive their trucks for far too long. They drive them until their body shuts down, and then an accident happens. Operator fatigue is a huge problem in the trucking industry, and it is one of the many commons reasons that a truck accident occurs. Such negligence is unacceptable, and the truck driver — and possibly the truck company, if driver log manipulation can be proven — should be held accountable.

However, federal lawmakers are trying to curb the number of truck accidents around the country with a new proposal that would electronically track the hours of usage for trucks and buses that cross state lines.

The devices would keep track of the hours of operation for the vehicles, and it would make it much more difficult for drivers or even companies to fake their log books. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration believes that if the proposal is accepted, it could save up to 20 lives and prevent more than 400 injuries every year.

Source: Associated Press, “Devices to track truck, bus driver hours proposed,” March 13, 2014

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