Our nation’s roads and highways see trucking accidents that kill over 5,000 and leave over 150,000 injured every year. One of the major causes of these accidents is truck driver fatigue. In an effort to battle truck driver fatigue, a new rule was adopted in April by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The rule will require installation of Electronic Onboard Recorders (EOBRs) in most interstate commercial vehicles by June of 2015. These monitors will track the number of hours a driver spends behind the wheel. Drivers usually keep a written log. The problem with a written log is that it can allow an unscrupulous company or driver to cheat in order to increase profits. The electronic recorders would eliminate the logs, making cheating more difficult and increasing the safety of millions of travelers on our highways.
Of course, like many rules it comes with some offense. There is a lot of pressure on interstate truck drivers to meet deadlines compelling them to speed or continue driving even when they are drowsy. Independent truckers see this as more of an economic burden and an unnecessary regulation. The cost of this rule is very high. It is estimated that carriers would spend $1,500 to $2,000 per truck to buy and install the recorders not to mention the annual service fees.
Many in the travelling public see it as a safety precaution that is well overdue. Eliminating highway fatalities is the focus of the rule and the biggest benefit. The U.S. Transportation Safety Board estimates that drowsy drivers are a probable factor in up to 40 percent of all truck crashes.
Two interstates, Interstate 40 (I-40) and Interstate 26 (I-26), cross each other in Asheville, North Carolina. As a result, truck driver crashes, interstate trucking fatalities and congested traffic from 18 wheeler’s turning over are common in Henderson County, Haywood County, Buncombe County and Madison County. As attorneys who help families deal with the aftermath of truck crashes, we support making the interstate and road systems of Western North Carolina safer.
The new rules requiring electronic monitoring will go into effect in June of 2012 with full compliance required within three years of that date. Hopefully this rule will lessen the number of trucking accidents on our highways and make us all feel a little safer on the road.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident then you need the services of a Buncombe County personal injury lawyer. Life cannot be reduced to mathematical formulas, but the deadly combination of massive volume and speed can produce great physical destruction and human tragedy. If you’ve been involved in a trucking tragedy, contact the attorneys at Fisher Stark P.A. to talk to an Asheville trucking accident lawyer today.