Has strict enforcement of hours of service regulations reduced the number of violations in the United States? Is the mandate requiring the use of Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) reducing the risk of accidents and injuries caused by drowsy truck drivers? One of the greatest threats to occupational safety for truck drivers is driver fatigue. Data gathered this year shows that the ELD mandate is slowly, but surely, having a positive impact on safety within the trucking industry.
Hours of Service Violations
Hours of service (HOS) violations include driving more than 11 hours in a consecutive 14-hour window. Similarly, it is a violation to fail to take a required 30-minute break within that window. Serious violations include failure to take 10 consecutive hours off-duty following a 14-hour shift. These HOS rules were put in place to counter the rising number of drowsy driving accidents caused by truck drivers.
Private studies in the past have indicated that as many as 28% of truck drivers suffer from sleep apnea. Data gathered by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the Large Truck Crash Causation Study showed that 13% of large truck accidents involved driver fatigue.
Impact of the ELD Mandate
As of December 2017, FMCSA regulations require fleet operators to install Electronic Logging Devices (ELD's) on their vehicles. Since then, the number of hours of service violations have dropped considerably.
In December 2017, 1.19% of driver inspections identified an HOS violation. That number dropped to .83% in January and held steady at between .83-.85% throughout the spring. As of April, it dropped to .69% and fell again to .64% in May.
From April 1st through the end of June 2018, the FMCSA conducted a total of 559,940 inspections; of these, 4,720 identified HOS violations. The number of violations reported is significantly lower than in previous years. The FMCSA attributes the declining number of violations to the implementation of the ELD mandate. The decline also shows that the trucking industry is gradually waking up to the occupational safety hazards posed by HOS violations.
Brad Pistotnik Law is an occupational safety attorney with attorneys, lawyers, and abogados who represent clients in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas, Florida, Missouri, and Illinois following accidents that cause personal injuries. Whether the accident occurred in Wichita, Liberal, Garden City, Elbing, burns, McLains, Whitewater, Powtin, Sedgwick, Halstead, Bentley, Colwich, Maize, Park City, Bel Aire, Benton, Towanda, Alta Mills, Furley, El Dorado, Prospect, Andale, Garden Plain, Cheney, Viola, Clearwater, Peck, Mulvane, Belle Plaine, Udall, Riverdale, Conway Springs, Anness, Milton, Norwich, Oaklan, Sunview, Haysville, Peck, Douglas, Argonia, Freeport, Bluff City, Corbin, Ashton, Oxford, Danville, Geuda Springs, Sharon, Pixley, Medicine Lodge, Gerlane, Hazelton, Manchester, Waldron, Crystal Springs, Anthony, Buttermilk, Deerhead, Wilmore, Sun City, Lake City, Aetna, Olpe, Madison,Gridley, Lebo, Waverly, Williamsburg, Richmond, Greeley, Colony, Humboldt, Moran, Blue Mound, Mound City, Pleasanton, Drexel, Lacygne, Fort Scott, Buffalo, Chanute, or elsewhere in these states, our accident attorneys can help clients pursue claims following violations of occupational safety standards that cause personal injuries or wrongful deaths.
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