Dorian, Goldstein, Wisniewski & Orchinik
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Rule change for logging trucking hours

Road safety is an important issue in Pennsylvania and throughout the nation. Fatigued driving can be especially dangerous, and this issue has been addressed extensively in the trucking industry because drivers can be pressured to meet deadlines by driving even when tired. In spite of regulations, some drivers continue to operate their vehicles while sleep-deprived, keeping two sets of logs to cover up their failure to comply with limits. However, a new rule that has been issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is designed to increase compliance and accountability.

Commercial vehicle accidents caused by a fatigued driver can be devastating to any other motorists and passengers involved. Electronic logging of hours is expected to reduce injuries by more than 560 per year and fatalities by approximately 26 per year. The industry expects to save at least $1 billion per year because of the reduction in paperwork that will occur as a result of the change, according to the FMCSA.

The new rule will become effective in February 2016, and those who have not already installed electronic monitoring systems in their rigs will be given two years to comply. Those who have electronic monitoring systems that don't meet the standards of the new regulation will have four years to change to a compliant system. Smartphones and other wireless equipment may be used to meet this requirement if technical requirements are satisfied. Efforts to implement electronic monitoring have been underway since 1995, but there have been legal challenges that prevented this action from moving forward until now.

A person who is injured in a truck accident caused by a fatigued driver could deal with an extensive period of recuperation. Lost wages, physical pain, and emotional suffering might not be addressed through motor vehicle insurance, which might make a personal injury lawsuit filed with the assistance of an attorney important as the victim deals with the aftermath of such an accident.

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