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Proposal to combat tired truck drivers would be huge safety boost

Truck accidents have been a common theme on this blog. A few weeks ago, we wrote about a study that looked at the positive impact that a sleep law change had on truck driver performance. Now federal lawmakers are looking to make sleep laws even more difficult to break, as they have proposed a new rule that would require buses and trucks that travel across state lines to be equipped with an hour-tracking electronic device.

The device would monitor the number of hours that a vehicle has been in operation. This electronic record will be much harder to fabricate or alter, unlike the current log books that are used by truck companies and individual truckers.

The proposal, if accepted, would be a huge safety boost for everyone on the road. There would be fewer accidents involving sleepy truck drivers, and the truck drivers themselves obviously don't want to be involved or cause a motor vehicle accident. And, in a different way, the rule could make truck drivers healthier as the devices would essentially force them to get the rest they are supposed to be getting.

However, smaller truck companies oppose the rule. Larger truck companies are already adhering to it, with similar electronic devices being installed on their trucks.

Hopefully the rule does become law, as it would force truck drivers and companies to act in a safer manner. Truck accidents are devastating for everyone involved -- but adding in negligence or sleepy driving just makes the incident that much worse.

Source: Associated Press, "Devices to track truck, bus driver hours proposed," Joan Lowy, March 13, 2014

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