Trucker fatigue and the ELD rule

Even if they have never been involved in an accident, people who live in Kentucky know that motor vehicle accidents can and do happen on a rather regular basis. While a good number of accidents may not cause serious harm to any people, other accidents change lives forever in the blink of an eye. Lifelong injuries and disabilities or even fatalities impact not only those directly involved but their family member, friends, employers and more.

When it comes to accidents in which a semi-truck or other commercial vehicle is involved, fatigue is one factor that has received a lot of attention in the last few years. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted a new rule a few years ago that reduced the maximum number of hours a truck driver could work in a single work week and in a single workday. The rule also outlined requirements for break times each week and each day.

Now, the FMCSA has a rule that mandates the use of electronic logging devices. These products capture and report data showing when a truck’s engine has been turned on, when it idles and when it drives. It is one way to enforce the Hours of Service rule.

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that across Pulaski County and its seven neighboring counties, 28 people died in large truck accidents between 2013 and 2017. Seven of those deaths occurred in Pulaski County alone. In 2017, Kentucky recorded 89 truck accident deaths statewide, representing slightly more than 11% of all vehicular fatalities that year.