On December 18, a federal mandate requiring the installation of electronic logging devices (ELDs) on all commercial trucks went into effect. Still, other proposed regulations designed to improve highway safety have been rolled back or are on hold.
According to a recent story on NPR, the Obama-era mandate was one of several proposed regulations that were designed to make the roads safer by preventing drivers from operating their vehicles while fatigued. The ELD mandate, specifically, requires all trucks to have ELDs, which would replace the easily altered paper logbooks that many drivers still use to track the hours they spend on the road and the hours that they spend at rest.
Some truck drivers complain that the new devices are prohibitively expensive (the devices cost about $500) and that they do not take into account the actual conditions and delays that drivers experience while on the road.
Another mandate that was drafted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration during the Obama years was one that required all truck drivers to undergo mandatory sleep apnea testing following several high-profile crashes involving truck and bus drivers who fell asleep behind the wheel and later tested positive for obstructive sleep apnea. This mandate was rolled back by the Trump administration in recent months, alongside rules requiring speed-limiting devices on trucks and an overhaul of the motor carrier safety rating system.
While the mandate for ELD’s has gone into effect, some people are concerned that the implementation of other regulations are being delayed or curtailed during a time when serious injury accidents are claiming the lives of people across the U.S. These crashes are often caused by something as simple as a fatigued truck driver. Serious injuries and deaths on our roadways occur far too frequently, and the negligent actions of truck drivers and the trucking companies they work for should not be tolerated.
What is frustrating for some people is that the regulations were being implemented, and changes were underway. Unfortunately, the reversal, of course, could result in more dangerous highways and more injuries and deaths for innocent people.
Ultimately the best recourse for someone who has been hurt or lost a loved one in a collision with a large commercial vehicle is to take legal action. Through a civil lawsuit, injured parties may be able to hold the trucking company and the driver responsible for their reckless or negligent actions. This includes driving while fatigued, as in so many recent cases. If the government will not take action to prevent these accidents from happening, the individuals who are hurt as a result may have to take legal action to hold the trucking companies accountable and seek the justice they deserve.
Legal Help for Victims of Truck Accidents
At Grimes Teich Anderson LLP, our firm fights to protect the rights of truck accident victims, including people harmed in crashes caused by drowsy or fatigued truckers. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, please contact our team today to set up a free legal consultation. We proudly represent victims throughout Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina, including the communities of Spartanburg, Greenville, Waynesville, Franklin and Asheville.