Tennessee motorists have a right to use the roadways throughout our state without incurring unnecessary risks from commercial trucking companies. Like any industry, commercial trucking is competitive and profits are often measured by thin margins. Unfortunately, some commercial truckers and their employees attempt to dodge state and federal regulations in order to remain profitable.
Driving for an extended period of time is one of the time-tested moneymaking strategies that some less scrupulous truckers employ. Unfortunately, driver fatigue among trucks drivers is a constant danger to everyone else sharing the same roads. In fact, the federal agency tasked with enforcing the trucking industry is planning to implement new regulations aimed at reducing the amount of hours each driver is allowed to operate.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is now awaiting congressional approval on tougher trucking legislation. One of the proposed rule changes would put more teeth into regulations against trucking companies that coerce their drivers to continue operating their trucks even when they are fatigued. Any trucking company or logistics operators could face fines of up to $11,000 for each incident determined as driver coercion.
The proposed legislation also contains a provision requiring an electronic digital data recorder on board each commercially licensed vehicle. The addition of the so-called “black box” to every truck would provide a foolproof way for safety officials to determine the amount of time each vehicle was being operated.
Tennessee victims of truck accidents need to know a few things. There are currently laws on the books that require truck drivers to observe reasonable work hours. If you have been injured as the result of a fatigued driver, you may be entitled to seek compensation from that individual as well as their employer.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be able to recover damages associated with your medical care and anytime you may have missed from work due to your accident.
Source: The Federal Register, “Coercion of Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers; Prohibition” accessed Jan. 13, 2015