Long hours of driving by truckers, demanded by their employers, constitute a national safety crisis for all of us who share the road with the big trucks. We need the truckers to deliver our Ipads and oranges, but the cost is too often injury, death and disaster.
Is the trucking industry regulated by the Federal Government?
The rules and regulations truckers and trucking companies must follow are mandated by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration).
What is the problem all of us face on the road when it comes to fatigued drivers?
The commercial motor carrier industry frequently violate the rules when it comes to their drivers, requiring their truckers to push the limits of safety by not allowing their drivers enough rest on the road. The industry and their drivers are obviously motivated by money. Quicker deliveries mean more profit to the company, and better pay to the driver. The federal government, truck drivers, dispatchers, company owners and safety compliance officers at trucking companies are and have been acutely aware of the problem of fatigued drivers, but violations of the rules continue.
How are truckers supposed to use logbooks?
Truckers are required to keep logbooks identifying their rest and sleep periods on the road. Logbooks are, in fact, frequently falsified. Yet even if those logbooks are accurate and the driver is in technical compliance with the rules, depending on the individual driver's other medical conditions, the FMCSA rules can still be violated. In such a case, punitive damages stemming from a negligence case are possible. So, for instance, a driver with sleep apnea, or who takes medication to assist in sleep, may be in violation of the rules.
The safety problems that the trucking industry impose on non commercial drivers on the road are diverse. What is clear is that despite federal regulation, serious injury cases from trucking accidents are not going away.