Hours of Service regulations, log books prevent crashes

On Behalf of | Oct 12, 2021 | Truck AccidentsFatigued DrivingArticles |

Drowsy driving can be a result of many different situations ranging from a truck driver having a medical condition to just not getting enough sleep. Unfortunately, being drowsy when you’re in control of a vehicle that weighs tens of thousands of pounds is completely unacceptable.

Truck drivers often have to make deliveries on tight schedules, so it makes sense that they may push themselves or be pushed by their employers to get more done than they can do safely. Sadly, drowsy driving does continue to be a top cause of serious collisions.

Log books may help prevent trucking accidents

Log books used to be manual books that had information about the trucker’s time behind the wheel. Today, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires that all interstate commercial truck and bus companies use electronic logging devices instead. Why? These are much more difficult to tamper with, so the logs are usually more accurate.

Electronic logs are designed to improve compliance with the government’s Hours of Service regulations. These regulations have specific limits on the hours that truck drivers can work so that they get enough rest and sleep.

Property-carrying drivers must adhere to the following rules

When a truck driver is carrying property, they are only allowed to drive for 11 hours at a time consecutively. After that, the driver has to have at least eight hours of rest or sleep in their sleeper berth before they continue on.

There are exceptions, but all drivers do need to adhere closely to the HOS regulations if they’d like to keep their licenses.

What happens if a driver is too tired to be on the road?

When a driver is too tired to be behind the wheel, the reality is that they’re more likely to cause serious collisions and may hurt themselves or others. The HOS regulations may seem to slow down deliveries or to negatively impact trucking companies, but they are there to keep people safer when they’re on the road. If a driver causes a crash, they, and, likely, their company, may be held liable.