Semi truck drivers in California may be facing stricter safety checks in the future. In particular, officers may be checking log books for signs of overworked drivers.
In other states such as Iowa and Kansas, officials from the Motor Vehicle Enforcement Agency are increasingly checking to determine if drivers are complying with required rest periods or 'off road" hours. Last year, there were more than 30,000 hour-of-service violations among large truck drivers across the U.S. The industry has been put on notice to comply or face the penalties of a violation.
Unlike passenger vehicles operators, commercial truck drivers have rules for the number of hours they can drive at a time as well as how long their driving breaks must be. The rules are in place to combat driver fatigue. And now, according to MVEA records, the agency is placing heightened emphasis on this issue.
As a part of their jobs, commercial truck drivers must drive for long distances and long periods of time. The pressure to stay on schedule can force drivers to extend their driving periods beyond safe limits. For safety reasons, these rules must be strictly enforced. Last year, approximately 70 deaths were attributed to fatigue by commercial drivers. Many more injuries occurred due to this cause.
When one is injured or killed due to the fault of a commercial driver, a personal injury attorney could perform a thorough investigation of the facts. The actions of the driver in the hours preceding the accident is important. Logs can be inspected, investigation reports could be reviewed and the driver may be deposed to determine if he or she was driving while fatigued.