FMCSA believes technology could prevent truck accidents
When motor vehicle accidents involve a truck or other large commercial vehicle like a bus, the level of damage tends to be significant. Combating the issues behind the truck accidents that occur in South Carolina and the U.S., therefore, is an essential traffic safety priority.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has tried in recent years to prevent accidents related to driver fatigue. If a commercial driver works for too long and doesn't get enough rest, he or she can become too tired and unfocused to safely manage a vehicle.
Logbooks are meant and required for drivers to track their schedules and hours worked. They are supposed to provide evidence of actual hours worked and, therefore, serve as evidence if a driver might have been fatigued before a truck accident occurs.
A problem with the logbooks is that drivers and/or their employers found ways to be dishonest. They would enter in fewer hours than drivers actually worked in order to try to get more work done without logging in evidence of overworked drivers.
Traffic safety officials propose that the commercial driving industry needs a new kind of logging system to improve transparency and safety. Logging technology, rather than a book, could be more effective in preventing dishonesty. There'd be more visibility to the number of hours worked. Accessing information would be easier for all involved. There would be less paperwork for employers.
Perhaps the most convincing argument for updated logging systems is that they could help save an estimated 20 lives that would otherwise be taken by truck accidents caused by driver fatigue every year.
For now, electronic logbooks are still just the central part of a current legislative proposal. We will post an update if the matter moves any further toward becoming law for commercial drivers.
Source: The Trucker, "Breaking news: FMCSA releases proposed ELD rule," March 13, 2014