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Electronic logging of trucking hours now required

While any accident on Ohio roads can be serious, truck-related accidents can be some of the most catastrophic, especially if an incident is attributed to driver fatigue. The size and speed of a big rig can result in serious consequences even if a driver is alert and able to make corrections before impact. A drowsy truck driver may not be able to correct in time to minimize damages. Mandated rest periods have been implemented to ensure that drivers will not be on the roads without the opportunity for proper rest. A rule that was announced in December 2015 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will increase accountability through electronic documentation of hours.

Paper logs of hours on the road have been required in the trucking industry since 1938. However, there can be instances of dishonesty in which drivers maintain two sets of books to mask issues such as non-compliance with time limits. Electronic logging will allow the industry to eliminate these issues while also facilitating location tracking and other vehicle activity. One of the additional benefits of this new rule will be the reduction of paperwork, which amounts to a potential savings of as much as $1 billion annually.

One group that is concerned about the new regulation is that of independent owners and operators of trucks. They believe that the technology puts an undue burden on private big rig owners without any proven results. The new requirements will become effective in February 2016, but companies will have up to two years to comply.

A family dealing with the loss of a loved one because of a trucking accident related to driver fatigue may receive compensation through insurance policies for the involved vehicles and trucking company. However, a wrongful death lawsuit filed with the assistance of an attorney might also provide for compensation to address the loss of the decedent's companionship and support resulting from such an accident.

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