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Electronic devices required to log trucker hours on the road

Connecticut motorists have likely driven past the aftermath of a traffic accident involving a commercial truck. Many of these collisions are caused by truck drivers who are drowsy after spending too many hours behind the wheel. The federal government many years issued hours of service regulations, one of which required truckers to manually keep track of their hours on handwritten logs.

Because of the possibility that paper logs could be falsified or destroyed, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association proposed a rule that required electronic devices to be installed in trucks to track the hours. The rule was successfully challenged in court in part because of privacy issues, and the FMSCA tweaked the rule accordingly.

Another lawsuit was filed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and two individual drivers. However, in late October the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit upheld a lower court ruling that had found the regulation to be constitutional. The devices will start being placed into vehicles in December 2017, although it is possible that the decision will be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Occupants of other vehicles who have been involved in a semi truck accident often suffer catastrophic injuries that require extensive medical care and treatment. In many cases their financial situation is further worsened by an inability to return to work for prolonged periods. When it can be determined that the accident was caused by a drowsy, impaired, speeding or otherwise negligent truck driver, an attorney could assist a victim in seeking compensation from the driver and his or her employer for these and other losses.

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