Kentucky residents have reason to be concerned about their safety when sharing the road with semi-trucks and other large commercial vehicles. Business Insider reports that in 2016 alone, buses and large trucks were involved in 4,400 fatal accidents in the United States. These accidents involved a variety of contributing factors, of which trucker fatigue may well be one.
In an effort to curb fatigue among commercial drivers, the federal government established its Hours of Service rule. This rule stipulates that in a single work day that lasts 14 hours, only 11 of those hours may be spent driving. The rule also has clear requirements for when breaks must be taken on a daily basis as well as between working days and working weeks.
Drivers have long been required to keep logs of their working and driving time but in recent years, this process has moved from a hardcopy one to an electronic one. Many in the trucking industry claim the use of electronic logs hinders their ability to properly perform their jobs. Others even say it is responsible for increased transportation costs which are often passed on to consumers. Those who support the use of electronic logging devices point to the improved safety on the road for all.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration explains that the new ELDs communicate with a vehicle’s engine and can capture data that indicates when the engine is on, when it is idling and when the vehicle is in motion. This is one way that the government can force compliance with the Hours of Service rule.