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Last month, Deborah Hersman , Chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, spoke in Washington to the National Press Club and stated that every day over 100 Americans die in transportation accidents, mostly on our highways. After her speech, the Chairwoman turned her comments to truck accident prevention.

Chairwoma Hersman recognized driver fatigue as a major cause of truck crashes and called for Electronic Onboard Recorders (EOBRs) on all commercial trucks. Her rationale for this safety device is that NTSB "investigate accidents on a regular basis where we find two sets of log books [with one being false]." In other words, even the NTSB recognizes that fudging driver log books is a common practice to enable drivers to be on duty for more hours than is legally permitted. While not fool proof, EOBRs are harder to fudge than paper driver logs. Monitoring driver fatigue is an important safety issue.

As I discussed in a recent blog, none of these monitoring devices are of any use in civil litigation unless the evidence is preserved. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations permit trucking companies to destroy this evidence six months after the crash. That’s why truck accident vicitims should consult an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. The first thing the lawyer should do is send a letter to the truck company and its insurance carrier demanding that all evidence from the truck and the scene be preserved.


  1. Gravatar for redladyca

    the best way to eliminate driver fatigue is to change the way the industry pays drivers. Throw the cents per mile game out the window and pay them by the hour or on salary thereby eliminating the use of multipal log books by many drivers (illegal) so they can run as many miles as possible and make as much money as possible. Every minute they spend at a shipper or receiver and in a dock is an income loss to a driver

  2. Gravatar for michael phelan

    redladyca makes an excellent point. The trucking companies treat the drivers like indentured servants and force them to choose between adequate rest and making a fair living.

  3. Gravatar for redladyca

    It's more like slaves. I've waited between 14 to 36 hours at a shipper to get loaded with no facilities food or water (other than what I have in the truck) only to have the company dispatcher order me to give it to a team and I loose all the miles/ pay for the load. Now I know my company charged that shipper for detention but then they tell me that the contract with the shipper is that they do not pay detention. At the very best I might get $8 an hour detention but when i'm rolling I make $30 an hour. Do the math that's $22 an hour I lose.

    They do not get you home when you ask even when given weeks notice. Then we only get 1 day off for every 6 days on the road not 2 out of every 7.

    Don't get me wrong I love what I do but I'm a professional and deserve to be paid as such. Would you really want your family on the road anywhere near a 18 wheeler that was driven by an untrained/ unskilled hand?? This country would come to a complete stop were it not for the truckers on the road every day. Can you think of anything in your home that has not at some point been on a truck?

  4. Gravatar for redladyca

    Basically the difference between a convicted felon and a truck driver is that the convicted felon gets three hot meals a day cable TV, recreation time and an 8' X 10' cell.

    Truckers have to work and pay for everything (it's always more expensive at a truck stop, because it's usually the only place we can park a big truck and they know it and take advantage ) We get no cable, no recreation time maybe 1 hot meal a day, usually it's every other day and fast food (that we have to pay for!!) and live in an 8' X 5' box on wheels that is our office.

    We also get told we're number one on an almost daily basis (flipped the bird) but without trucks there would be no fuel at the gas stations, or food in the grocery stores.

    Did you know that driving a Big Rig is more dangerous than being a law enforcement officer and that it shortens our expected life span by an average of 15 years???

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