We all notice how large trucks fill the roadways in Virginia and nationwide, as there are many necessities and goods that need to be transported long and short distances. While this is needed for our economy to thrive, it is clear that the longer a person is behind the wheel, the chances of being involved in a collision increases. To address this problem, federal regulations have been passed to better enforce hours of service rules. However, these changes may have their setbacks.
How have hours of service regulations impacted the industry? Recently a new law that required truck drivers to use an electronic logging device impacted the trucking industry throughout the U.S. The idea is that this device would keep track of the time spent driving. But by implementing this law and increasing the enforcement of hours of service regulations, other areas have been taking a hit when it comes to costs and funding this new requirement.
Based on current data, grocery store prices are expected to rise because of the new federal mandate. This logging device means drivers can no longer work longer hours than regulated. This means that there could be a delay in deliveries, because not as much distance is covered during each shift. Thus, it is taking more runs to make the same shipments, driving up the costs for produce to wholesalers. These increases will eventually be passed onto the consumer.
While drivers have always be bounded by these federal limits on the number of hours a trucker can drive, when they used paper logs, they had the flexibility on how they recorded their hours. Now, with the electronic logging device, hours are automatically logged, even if they are in a traffic jam or delayed because of an accident.
The purpose of federal trucking regulations is to reduce the number of truck accidents. While many drivers follow these rules, others seek to weasel around these regulations, creating risks to others on the roadway. Those harmed in a truck accident should consider their legal rights and recourses. If a truck driver violated the hours of service rules, it may possible to hold them liable for the crash through a personal injury action. This will allow victims to pursue compensation for losses and damages.
Source: Saukvalley.com, “New trucking regulation is driving up costs,” Jan. 30, 2018